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Irish Teacher Suspended for Using Wrong Pronouns, Arrested for Not Staying Away From School

Irish Teacher Suspended for Using Wrong Pronouns, Arrested for Not Staying Away From School

“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.”

Wilson’s Hospital School in Ireland suspended teacher Enoch Burke after he refused to call a transgender student “they,” the student’s preferred pronoun. From The Irish Mirror:

Mr Burke was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary process commenced by the Co Westmeath secondary school, where he has been employed for several years. in Mid-August.

That process commenced after Mr Burke, who does not agree with transgenderism, allegedly publicly voiced his alleged opposition to a request by the school’s principal to address a student, who wishes to transition, by a different name and by using the pronoun “they” rather than he or she.

On Tuesday the school Board of Management secured a temporary, ex-parte, High Court order against Mr Burke preventing him from attending or teaching any classes at the school.

The boarding school, which is a part of the Church of Ireland, is located in County Westmeath in the province of Leinster. It is about 57 miles west of Dublin.

Burke refused to stay away. From The Telegraph:

The court heard on Monday that Burke had refused to stay away from the school on paid leave during the disciplinary process. Instead, he would sit in an empty classroom and declare he was there to work.

The judge told the History and German teacher he must stay in prison until he agrees to comply with the terms of the injunction, which would purge his contempt of court.

Burke said: “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.

“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.”

Burke also said he could not comply with the suspension because “he would have to accept that sticking by his belief in male and female opened him to a fair charge of gross misconduct.”

Unfortunately, I’m seeing media and social media posts muddying the waters, making it appear the police put Burke in prison because he refused to use the gender-neutral pronoun.

We do not have to stretch the truth because the school suspending a teacher over pronouns is ridiculous enough.


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No need to involve religion

transgender is contrary to all known medical science
contrary to all known biology

contrary to common sense

    TheBerean in reply to Joe-dallas. | September 7, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    I love Christians being Christian. No beheadings. No buggery. No MonkeyPox. No Deviant behavior or language that serves to enable mental illness. Just conservative, normal gendered, common sense values.

I’m sorry, but which of his religious beliefs required him to show up to work, trespassing on private property whose owner has repeatedly told him not to be there? Which of his religious beliefs required him to disobey a court order not to enter the premises? If his conscience requires him to protest what the school is doing, he can do so on the street in front of the school. If he believes the school is acting contrary to the teachings of the Church of Ireland he can bring a complaint to those with authority over it. But deciding to keep showing up to work every day, even when a court has ordered him not to, doesn’t seem to me like a religious obligation, just a personal one.

    malclave in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Does sitting in an empty classroom really violate an order not to attend or teach classes?

      Milhouse in reply to malclave. | September 7, 2022 at 8:15 pm

      He was told not to enter the premises.

        malclave in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 9:58 pm

        But if the court only ordered him not to attend or teach classes, then it’s not really contempt of court, is it?

        Get him on trespassing or issue an order not to enter the premises first.

          Milhouse in reply to malclave. | September 8, 2022 at 1:59 am

          The court ordered him not to attend the school. There’s nothing ambiguous about that. He had a legal duty not to attend the school, and he knowingly breached it, and told the judge to his face that he would persist in his contempt. What was the judge supposed to do?

          malclave in reply to malclave. | September 8, 2022 at 2:42 am

          Ah, I think I get it now. I was parsing “attending or teaching any classes at the school” differently, I guess. I thought “attending” applied to the classes, not the school, probably because I’m not used to referring to teachers as attending the school where they teach.

      willow in reply to malclave. | September 7, 2022 at 9:12 pm

      Saying there are five lights, not four, doesn’t harm anyone, right?

        Milhouse in reply to willow. | September 8, 2022 at 2:01 am

        That’s right. And if your employer makes it a condition of your employment that you say it, and you want to keep your job, then you say it.

        But this case isn’t even as bad as that; saying there are five lights is a lie, and you might have a conscientious objection to lying. Referring to someone with an unconventional pronoun is not a lie, it’s just weird. No religion objects to talking funny.

    mailman in reply to Milhouse. | September 8, 2022 at 9:24 am

    I guess he could be a nutless ballsack like you Milhouse and just hide away behind pretty words eh 🙄

As for his refusal to call the student “they”, that’s just plain rude. What the student actually is isn’t relevant; there is no religion in the world that dictates what pronouns one must use for people. Refusing to do so is just as rude as refusing to call someone “Bill” because his legal name is William. Common manners are to call people as they wish to be called, and to try to avoid using names for someone that they have repeatedly asked not to be called.

That doesn’t mean you have to agree with the philosophy of transgenderism. And of course if that philosophy is ever the topic of conversation you don’t have to pretend to agree with it. You can say “I call you “Jenny” because that’s what you’ve asked me to do, but that doesn’t change what you are; don’t confuse manners with agreement”.

    malclave in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    It’s more rude to demand others submit to nonstandard pronoun use. Pronouns are there to make communication easier. If individuals can just pick what 3rd person pronouns other people are forced to use, they have no meaning.

      Milhouse in reply to malclave. | September 7, 2022 at 8:17 pm

      Others’ rudeness does not excuse the teachers’.

        Treguard in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 8:56 pm

        “They” is plural. Would you acknowledge a student’s imaginary friend as well?

          malclave in reply to Treguard. | September 7, 2022 at 10:05 pm

          In this case, “they” is singular. I certainly hope the teachers are paying attention to how students are conjugation verbs in class. I’m sure they doesn’t want them to misconjugate them.

          Milhouse in reply to Treguard. | September 8, 2022 at 2:06 am

          First of all, “they” as a generic singular is well-attested as valid English for centuries. But even if it weren’t, ordinary politeness demands that if you know someone wants to be addressed in a certain way you should endeavor to comply; insisting on calling someone a name they don’t want to be called by is rude.

          Sometimes rudeness is called for, but most of the time it isn’t. If you are in a discussion about this “transgender” madness, clarity and precision are required, so you have no choice but to say things as they are. Otherwise you won’t be understood and you won’t be able to make your points. But in ordinary conversation, where that is not the topic, if someone thinks they are a woman, or a Martian, or a cat, a polite person humors them.

    Colonel Travis in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    I refuse to call an individual “they.” There is no reason for it, other than to sanctify idiotic behavior.

    Sanddog in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    I have a client who is a “they”. I refer to her by name because I’m not in the habit of pandering to delusional thought. you don’t have to play the pronoun game.

    Dimsdale in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    Why do I have to perform some act contrary to the English language to satisfy them? I don’t care if they think they are a man, woman or a piece of furniture, but requiring, apparently with the force of law, to have to remember which pronouns go with which of the 57 flavors of gender delusion, is too much.

    Maybe if they just tattooed their preferences on their forehead, there would be far less confusion and angst. They are crushing the language and normal conversation by making people afraid to speak, lest they be attacked, or in the case of Great Britain, arrested.

    And no, he should not have gone back to the school.

      kyrrat in reply to Dimsdale. | September 7, 2022 at 7:12 pm

      This one is my favorite. Beware the 5th/6th grade student who realizes the teacher will be stuck between a rock and a hard place when they do this. “In video obtained by Libs of TikTok, Ms. O’Dell, who teaches students in the 5th and 6th grade, explained the story in a post on TikTok to which she asked her followers for clarification on whether or not her students were pranking her after they told O’Dell that their pronouns were “banana” and “rock.””

      Milhouse in reply to Dimsdale. | September 7, 2022 at 8:21 pm

      This wasn’t a case of his forgetting, or of having to remember the preferred pronouns for fifty-seven different kids. This was one weird kid, and the school ordered its employee to play along with that kid’s delusions. He deliberately flouted that order. What did he expect would happen?

        George_Kaplan in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 8:29 pm

        That’s like refusing to play along with the anorexic kid’s delusions and being punished.

        Is refusing to defy reality now illegal?

          It’s not illegal, and he was not punished for his refusal. But it is a firing offense. If your employer orders you to call the anorexic kid “fatso”, you are required to comply or quit.

        henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2022 at 8:42 pm

        This is precisely what he expected would happen.
        This is his stand, his 15 minutes.
        This is how he makes his point.

        Dimsdale in reply to Milhouse. | September 8, 2022 at 9:26 am

        I see your point, but as noted by kyrrat, it becomes a game to students to fluster the teacher, and when one does it, in encourages others.

        I think delusions should be treated, not catered to. You would not believe how “wrong” teachers are to a leftist administration, particularly in high school. It is why I had to get out; the inmates were/are taking control, making the transfer of real knowledge almost impossible. And the “pandemic” piled on to this, as does phone addictions.

    MAJack in reply to Milhouse. | September 8, 2022 at 8:17 am

    BS, I’m under no obligation to facilitate mental illness.

The World is not safe for children

Or anyone…

You don’t have to object on religious grounds to object to Orwellian language control. Pronouns are used to ease communication. Allowing “personalized” pronouns defeats the whole purpose of them.

It might be considered different if – for whatever reason – a single new general-purpose pronoun like “Xe/Xer” for say gender neutral single/plural him/her. Like the adoption of “Ms” to replace Miss/Mrs. Other grounds for opposition would still exist – but at least it wouldn’t turn language into a trap for the unwary..

The backed-by-force forced adoption here isn’t just asking for tolerance, it’s asking for mandated vocal approval. It’s forced speech – which in anathema to free speech.

I don’t recall the author, but someone once asked the question
Q: “If you call a tail a limb, how many legs does a dog have?”
A: “Five?”.
Q: “Four. Calling a tail a leg didn’t make it so.”

    Milhouse in reply to BobM. | September 8, 2022 at 2:11 am

    You use the language your employer requires you to use. This person claims to have a religious objection to doing so, and I’m calling that bullshit. He has no religious objection, because no known religion has a problem with the school’s requirements. You don’t have to agree with them, you just have to comply. And regardless of that, if a property owner has obtained a restraining order requiring you to stay off their property, you stay off it or go to prison. That’s how it works.

      Rufus6540 in reply to Milhouse. | September 8, 2022 at 8:56 am

      So if my employer requires me to refer to women as “babes” and minorities as “immigrant usurpers” I should just go along with it or find another job? Nothing illegal by them making that a condition of employment? Got it, thanks for your worldview.

      Also there are hundreds of different Christian/religious groups and ways of worshiping out there. Who the heck are you to say what is/isn’t in keeping with this man’s understanding of his relationship to God and his son Jesus? Isn’t that a matter between him and is maker? How exactly does his belief impact anyone other than himself?

        Milhouse in reply to Rufus6540. | September 8, 2022 at 12:09 pm

        If that is a requirement of your job, then yes, you are required to comply or quit.

        And there is NO religious group, anywhere, that objects to referring to someone as “they”. I dare you to find me an exception. It’s weird to do that when you know the person’s sex, but it’s not a lie.

        And come to think of it, how do you know the sex of someone in whose pants you’ve never looked, and who refuses to tell you what’s in there? All you have to go on is how such people present themselves, and if they deliberately present themselves ambiguously you can’t know, and have no call to guess, so using neutral terms for them is correct and not even weird. What’s weird is your lack of knowledge, because normal people will tell you. Weird people won’t.

      It fully believe it isn’t the “employer” who’s the source of this mandate here. It’s just like with the internet meeting places – the govt drives them to a policy the govt wants – and then hides behind the fiction that’s it’s totes legal because it’s a private entity doing it “voluntarily” and not at the govt’s bidding. When you comply under pressure from someone else it’s the someone else who’s the real actor.

I wonder when the “wokerati” will get around to ba$tardizing the male and female nouns in languages like French, Spanish and German?

Will we now be forced to “degenderize” the language to satisfy a tiny portion (only a few percent by most estimates) of our population?

    malclave in reply to Dimsdale. | September 8, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    I did find it mildly amusing that one of the teacher’s subjects is German. Which could mean, depending on how the student is transitioning, that he could have been suspended for referring to the student as “sie” instead of “sie”.

Language, vocabulary & grammar, is mutually agreed between us. The English language, in all its infinitely subtle complexity, has needed no Government assistance nor intervention to become what it has become. If it ever does it will ossify & die out. One might have the opinion that Transgenderism is basically a lie. Dare I say it, that they are asking us the repeat the lie that a woman can be a man or vice versa in spite of my understanding & utter conviction that our chromosomes determine our gender. So just like many autocracies in history “they”, the government, are insisting that we use language to repeat a particular lie. As a result we inevitably become liars ourselves, emasculated liars. (Hat tip to Theodore Dalrymple). IMHO this sets my human right to tell the truth against the young person’s right to use a pronoun that obviously doesn’t apply. I submit that my rights trump the young person’s. Otherwise this harms the language & destroys our ability to communicate properly (witness much of the confusion above). That person should therefore not be allowed to interfere with my rights