Ex-substitute teacher denies making controversial comments

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CARY, N.C. (AP) — A substitute teacher is denying allegations she made comments to a class of 10-year-old students, including that they were marked for prison because they were wearing athletic clothing and that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had killed himself.

Elizabeth Temple resigned almost a year ago after the Wake County school system began investigating whether she made those comments while teaching at a Garner elementary school, district officials previously confirmed to The News & Observer.

Temple attended a Wake County school board meeting Tuesday and said during the public comment section that the allegations were not true.

“I said we were all one race, the human race, that we’re all one,” Temple also said during the meeting. She added that she “joined the NAACP as a dues-paying member,” the newspaper reported.

The allegations emerged in February when Billy Byrd, a parent of a black student at the school, accused Temple of making the comments to his son and others in the class, The News & Observer reported.

He said Temple became upset when students were not listening to her directions and began talking about President Donald Trump before telling the students that they were not real Christians if they didn’t support him.

She went on to make the comments about King’s death and students’ clothing, Byrd told the paper and also posted to Facebook at the time.

Board members do not respond during the public comment part of their meeting.

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