An Irish secondary school teacher was jailed for contempt of court on Monday after Dublin High Court banned him from teaching for refusing to call a student by the pronouns of his choice.
The teacher, Enoch Burke, had been in a confrontation since last year with the management of Wilson’s Hospital School, a mixed boarding school of the Protestant Church of Ireland located in the town of Multyfarnham, in Westmeath County, in the center of the country.
Burke alleged conscientious reasons for refusing to accommodate the wishes of a “transitioning” transgender studentwho asked the school to call him by a different name and the pronoun “they”, which in English is neutral and serves both for “them or them”, instead of “he” (“he”), as they have explained various local media.
The management of the center suspended the professor from employment and salary last August, but he continued to attend the classrooms, for which the lawyers of Wilson’s Hospital School requested a court order that the now prisoner repeatedly ignored.
For this reason, the Irish Police (Garda) arrested Burke on Monday morning, who at that time “he was in an empty class”as declared today by the school’s lawyers at a hearing held in the Superior Court.
During that session, Burke insisted that it was “impossible” for him to comply with the court order that prohibited him from teaching because it was “a violation of his conscience” as a teaching professional.
Likewise He stressed that he did not agree with transgenderism and considered it unfair that he was before a judge for refusing to “call a boy a girl”as the school director had asked him last May.
In addition, he assured that this issue goes against his “beliefs, against the (sacred) scriptures and against the ethics of the school, the (Protestant) Church of Ireland and the teachings of all the main religions”, according to the Irish public broadcaster RTE.
According to Superior Court Justice Michael Quinn, Burke will remain in prison until “further order”.