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Parents and students react after Nitro teacher tweets 'ban Islam'

(WSAZ)
Published: Apr. 20, 2017 at 6:28 PM EDT
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NITRO, W. VA. (WSAZ) -- A Nitro High School teacher is in the center of controversy after she took her passionate opinion on religion to social media.

Foreign language teacher Sheri Sapp posted a tweet to her Twitter page saying "Ban Islam. Imagine how much more peaceful the Middle East and the entire world would be with no Muslims."

Kanawha County Schools spokesperson Briana Warner issued the following statement to WSAZ regarding the post: "We are aware of the situation with Ms. Sapp and as this is a personnel matter, it is being handled internally. We cannot disclose any action that has or has not been taken regarding employment. All County policies are taken into account when considering whether or not action is warranted."

Warner also sent WSAZ a link to Kanawha County School's social media policy, which states employees are always representing their school, even online.

The following is an excerpt: Although the lines between public and private, personal and professional, can become blurred in the digital world, you will always be viewed as a KCS employee. Whether it clearly communicated or not, you will be identified as an employee of the school district in what you say online.

Nitro High School Senior Grant McVicker says he had Sapp as a teacher and that she made her political views known to her class.

"Everyone knows she's a die hard Republican; she voted Trump. But she never said anything like that against anyone in class," McVicker said. "I personally don't agree with what she said, but it's her business, none of mine."

But Shayla Leftridge, a concerned parent in the Nitro community, says teachers need to be held to a higher standard.

"If you replaced that word 'Muslim' with any other religion, you would see the problem," Leftridge said. "I think that kind of rhetoric is dangerous for dangerous for kids. I think teachers need to mold and facilitate conversations for kids to make up their own minds."

Sapp has been a teacher with Kanawha County Schools for almost 20 years. WSAZ reached out to her for a comment but did not hear back.

You can find Kanawha County School's social media policy in full here: https://kcs.kana.k12.wv.us/Uploads/Documents/45/Revised%20finalized%20Social%20Media%20Policy%20-%20149646.pdf.