Teacher Under Investigation For Segregating Students Based On Religious, Personal Beliefs

This story has been updated. Click here to read update.

Teacher Suspended With Pay

FOUR OAKS – A Johnston County high school teacher is under investigation for what she allegedly did inside her classroom.

The teacher at the center of the investigation is Julia Lopp, a Spanish teacher at South Johnston High School.

According to students and their parents, during a morning class last Friday the first-year teacher reportedly asked her students to line up on opposite sides of the classroom based on whether they did or did not believe in God.

After the students were segregated based on their religious beliefs, Lopp allegedly asked the students if they supported or were opposed to abortion.  Then she asked her classroom if they were in favor or opposed LGBT rights and beliefs.

The teacher is also accused of telling everyone in her class if they told their parents, school faculty, or anyone about what she did, she would not recommend them for a job or entrance to college.

“This is an unfortunate incident and one I wish had not happened,” Superintendent Dr. Jim Causby told JoCoReport. “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.”

Dr. Causby said, “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.”

Julia Lopp was hired as a substitute teacher with Johnston County Schools on August 12, 2019 and then hired as a Spanish teacher at South Johnston High on August 26, 2019.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to remove reference to the teacher reportedly verbally ridiculing students who did not believe in God.  The parent of the student who provided this information now says they did not fully understand the intent of the teacher, allegedly questioning their child’s belief in God in relation to their personal beliefs on abortion and LGBT.  The parent also states the students were asked whether they had a mental health issue or panic attacks and were also segregated based on their answers to these health questions.