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Suspension lifted for Georgia student who posted photo of overcrowded hall: report

Viral picture shows students close to each other without face coverings

In this photo posted on Twitter, students crowd a hallway, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga. The 30,000-student suburban Paulding County school district in suburban Atlanta resumed classes Monday with 70% of students returning for in-person classes five days a week, days after the principal at North Paulding announced some members of the football team had tested positive for COVID-19. The district says it is encouraging mask use, but isn't requiring it. (Twitter via AP)
In this photo posted on Twitter, students crowd a hallway, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga. The 30,000-student suburban Paulding County school district in suburban Atlanta resumed classes Monday with 70% of students returning for in-person classes five days a week, days after the principal at North Paulding announced some members of the football team had tested positive for COVID-19. The district says it is encouraging mask use, but isn't requiring it. (Twitter via AP)

A Georgia high school student said she was suspended for posting a photo of a crowded school hallway on social media, but according to the Washington Post, the suspension has been lifted by the principal.

Hannah Watters, a 15-year-old sophomore at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, posted a photo on Twitter that showed students walking down a crowded hallway, some wearing masks but many others without face coverings.

Hannah’s mom, Lynne Watters, told the Washington Post, “The principal just said that they were very sorry for any negative attention that this has brought upon her, and that in the future they would like for her to come to the administration with any safety concerns she has. [The principal] confirmed that she will have no disciplinary action on her record and she can return to school on Monday.”

Hannah Watters said she was accused of breaking several codes of conduct and suspended, but she says she posted the picture because she was concerned.

"I took the photo initially after seeing the first day of school photo taken by someone else go online as well and got picked up by some media coverage. And I took it out of mostly concern and nervousness after seeing the first days of school," Watters said.

In a letter to the community, Paulding County School's superintendent said the photo was taken out of context.

Brian Otott wrote, in part, “Class changes at the high school level are a challenge when maintaining a specific schedule.”

“Students are in this hallway environment for just a brief period as they move to their next class,” he said.


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