North Carolina teacher suspended for allegedly segregating students based on religious beliefs, stance on abortion and LGBTQ rights
Spanish teacher Julia Lopp threatened the class to not tell anyone, failing which she would 'not recommend them for a job or even entrance to college'.
A North Carolina teacher has been suspended with pay after she was accused of segregating students in her class based on their religion and political beliefs.
Julia Lopp was first hired by the Johnston County Schools on August 12 as a substitute teacher and then taken on as a Spanish teacher by the South Johnston High School on August 25, though that stint might already be at its end.
ABC11 reported that Lopp allegedly segregated the students in her class by religious beliefs, and then asked them about their opinions on abortion. Afterward, she asked them about their stance on LGBTQ rights.
After separating the children, she is said to have threatened the class to not tell anyone, failing which she would "not recommend them for a job or even entrance to college."
Natasha Chancey, the mother of a middle schooler in the school district, said she welcomed the children praying in school, but that she felt Lopp had crossed a line.
"I don't mind prayer in school and things like that because you pray to your own religion," she said. "But for instance to be asking about God because there are so many different religions and everyone has their own beliefs, that might be saying one is better than the other."
Following the emergence of the allegations, the Johnston County School District announced that they had suspended Lopp from her duties as they investigated the incident.
"This is an unfortunate incident and one I wish had not happened," said district superintendent Dr Jim Causby in a statement. "It is never appropriate for a teacher to segregate students based on religious, political or personal beliefs."
"In fact, it is not appropriate for a teacher to even ask a student what their beliefs are. Our school system takes very seriously the rights of students in these areas and students should never be instructed to not share classroom activities with their parents," he continued.
"The current incident is under investigation by our Human Resources Department and the teacher is currently suspended with pay while the investigation takes place. When the investigation is completed, I will review the findings and determine what final decisions need to be made."