Johnston teacher suspended after students divided in classroom according to religious beliefs

Posted October 31, 2019 1:50 a.m. EDT

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— A South Johnston High School teacher has been suspended after students in her class were reportedly divided up according to their religious beliefs.

"This is an unfortunate incident and one I wish had not happened. 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," Johnston County Schools Superintendent Jim Causby said in a statement. "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."

Julia Lopp, was hired as a substitute teacher with Johnston County Schools on Aug. 12 and then hired as a Spanish teacher at South Johnston High two weeks later, officials said. She is now suspended with pay while pending the outcome of a district investigation.

"When the investigation is completed, I will review the findings and determine what final decisions need to be made," Causby said.

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