- Enoch Burke, an Irish teacher was suspended in Dublin.
- He had refused to call a student by their gender-neutral pronoun.
- He was later jailed for contempt of court after he breached a High Court order.
Irish teacher suspended: Enoch Burke, an Irish teacher was suspended after he refused to address one of the transitioning students with their preferred gender-neutral pronoun. He was later jailed for contempt of court after he breached a High Court order which forbade him from attending the school while a disciplinary review was carried out.
Many media reports earlier merged the two incidents, saying Burke was jailed for refusing to call a transgender student by their preferred pronoun. However, as per Reuters Fact Check, it was later revealed that he was jailed for contempt of court.
As per a Daily Mail report, the teacher is from an evangelical Christian family who have protested against abortions and gay marriage. Burke was arrested for breaching a court order not to teach at his Westmeath school, or be physically present there.
He had refused to address a transitioning student as 'they' rather than 'he', as requested by the student and their parents in May, and agreed to by the Church of Ireland school. After Judge Michael Quinn made his ruling, Burke said: '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.'
On September 5, Burke was found guilty of contempt of court for continuing to attend the school premises. The judge noted that the decision to imprison Burke was only based on whether there was a willful breach of the court order, not the context of the dispute between Burke and school itself, according to The Irish Times.
This is not the first time Burke was seen in opposition of pronouns or LGBT rights. Four years ago, Burke called LGBT+ training for school leaders 'amoral', arguing that it would 'stigmatise modesty and inhibitions'.
And last year, four of her children, Ammi, Enoch, Isaac and Kezia Burke lost a legal case against the University of Galway which stemmed from their views on gay marriage.
(inputs from Daily Mail, Reuters Fact Check)