Teacher Who Questioned Students On Personal Beliefs Apologizes And Expresses Regret For Incident

South Johnston High Spanish teacher Julia Lopp will be reinstated following 10–day suspension

Johnston County Public Schools announced this afternoon (Wednesday), a South Johnston High teacher who questioned her students about their religious and personal beliefs will be reinstated to her job.

First-year Spanish teacher Julia Lopp was suspended after school administrators became aware of an incident regarding a lesson she conducted in her classroom.

In a school press release, officials said the conduct was “…in violation of board policy, specifically including a policy that prohibits teachers from surveying student beliefs about religion, politics, and other personal matters without express authorization from the Superintendent.”

Lopp was suspended with pay during an investigation of this incident.

Officials said Ms. Lopp has apologized for conducting the activity in violation of the board policy and has expressed regret for the disruption it has caused South Johnston High School.

While students were asked to briefly stand on different sides of the room to indicate their responses to various statements, the investigation did not find that Ms. Lopp criticized students for their responses or otherwise segregated them. Nor did it find that Ms. Lopp attempted to conceal the activity from the school or from parents, as was reported.

Ms. Lopp has accepted the recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Jim Causby that she be suspended without pay for 10 school days.

“Regardless of the intent, students should never have been asked about personal beliefs. Given Ms. Lopp’s willingness to take responsibility for her misjudgment, I believe that she will use this experience to better her instruction for our students at South Johnston High School,” Dr. Causby said.