Jailed Irish Teacher Refuses Student’s Pronoun Demands
Enoch Burke is a devote Christian teacher at Wilson’s Hospital School, Co Westmeath, Ireland.
According to their website, “As part of our High School exchange programme, this school is located just over one hour from Dublin, this 7-day boarding school is a place of personal development where students pursue their studies and form lifelong friendships in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.” Wilson’s is associated with the Church of Ireland.
Burke was put on paid administrative in late August for refusing to address a trans student as “they.” A disciplinary meeting is scheduled for September 14th.
Despite an order barring him from the campus, Burke continued to be present at the school resulting in his arrest for breach of the order.
Burke was arrested for not calling a student “they” and continuing to teach at the school.
Enoch Burke was arrested at Wilson’s Hospital School, on Monday morning, Sept 5, after disobeying the court order and “sitting in an empty classroom” at the school. He will remain in Mountjoy Prison until he purges his contempt or until further orders from the High Court, Mr. Justice Michael Quinn told the court on Monday.
Burke, who does not agree with transgenderism, allegedly challenged the school principal on the subject at a school function in June.
The High Court has heard that Burke believes a belief system has been forced upon the students at the school, while he also claims that the request is a breach of constitutional rights.
“I cannot do that, transgenderism is contrary to my Christian belief,” Burke told the High Court.
He said the school’s request was contrary to the ethos of the school and the teachings of the Church of Ireland in addition to the teachings of all major religions in Ireland.
He said he respected the law and the court system but added that he could not comply with the court order as doing so would make him a hypocrite.
Burke said he could not purge his contempt because he believed it was something he considered to be a breach of his Christian beliefs.
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