North Carolina

Teacher accused of dividing NC students based on their religious beliefs is suspended

A Spanish teacher is accused of separating students “based on their religious beliefs,” prompting a North Carolina school district to investigate.

Johnston County Public Schools says the teacher is suspended with pay while it examines “whether or not she asked students about their beliefs in God,” according to ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.

The classroom was at South Johnston High School, roughly 30 miles south of Raleigh, the station reports.

“This is an unfortunate incident and one I wish had not happened,” Superintendent Jim Causby said in a statement to McClatchy news group. “It is never appropriate for a teacher to segregate students based on religious, political or personal beliefs.”

The district leader also says it’s “not appropriate for a teacher to even ask a student what their beliefs are.”

An English teacher at Heritage High School in Wake Forest was suspended without pay for five days in September after she asked her students to answer questions such as what was their gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, religion and socioeconomic status.

The classroom assignment caused Wake County school officials to send an email on Sept. 13 to all teachers reminding them to respect the privacy rights of their students. The email noted that under federal law, legal restrictions prevent students from being required to answer questions about things such as their sexual behavior, religious practices and income.

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