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Teacher Jailed for Contempt of Court After Refusing to Use ‘They’ for Trans Student

LGBTQ+

Teacher Jailed for Contempt of Court After Refusing to Use ‘They’ for Trans Student

He’s budging on it.

Enoch Burke, a teacher in Ireland, has been arrested after he was suspended for refusing to use a gender-neutral pronoun for a transgender student. He was condemned for breaching a court order after appearing at Westmeath School, his workplace, post-ruling.

“It is insanity that I will be led from this courtroom to a place of incarceration, but I will not give up my Christian beliefs,” he spoke.

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The case began when Burke refused to use the pronoun “they” for a transitioning student after they and their parents requested him to. It also has been approved by the Church of Ireland school. But the teacher kept insisting on using “he” on the student.

The German teacher explained his faith during the court to Judge Michael Quinn, “I am a teacher, and I don’t want to go to prison. I want to be in my classroom today; that’s where I was this morning when I was arrested. I love my school, with its motto Res Non Verba, actions, not words, but I am here today because I said I would not call a boy a girl.”

“Transgenderism is against my Christian belief. It is contrary to the scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school.”

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He reacted to his suspension, “It is extraordinary and reprehensible that someone’s religious beliefs on this matter could ever be taken as grounds for an allegation of misconduct.”

“My religious beliefs are not misconduct. They are not gross misconduct. They never will be. They are dear to me. I will never deny them and never betray them, and I will never bow to an order that would require me to do so. It is just not possible for me to do that,” he continued.

“There has been a dumbing down of the seriousness of suspension. It is a serious step,” he added in his surprise at the “unreasonable” suspension he was given.

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“It has tarnished my good character and my good name, particularly in the profession of a teacher, where one is so close to a large number of members of the local community. It leaves a stain on what has been, for me, an unblemished teaching record.”

The bewildered teacher continued to experience a “violation of my conscience” when he was forced to do something he believed to be “manifestly wrong.” He argued that teachers “are being forced to participate… they are being forced to use the pronoun “they” instead of either “he” or “she”.”

The zealous family have additionally challenged gay marriage, and Castlebar’s Gay Pride march, the Irish Independent reported.

The board of management, Rosemary Mallon BL, told the judge that her client had “no choice” but to send him to prison for breaching a court order.

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“…Mr. Burke is knowingly in breach of this order, he is therefore in contempt, and he has made it clear that if he is not committed to prison, he will attend at the school [today], and the concerns of the school regarding the ongoing disruption to the students remain.”

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