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Georgia High Schoolers Suspended for Sharing Images of Unmasked Students in Crowded Halls

HeadlineAug 07, 2020

In Georgia, two high school students have been suspended after they published images of classmates ignoring social distancing guidelines and not wearing masks at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia. Fifteen-year-old sophomore Hannah Watters says she was ordered to remain home from school for five days after she tweeted a photo and a video of unmasked students crowding her school’s hallways on the second day of the new school year. She told CNN her only aim was to call attention to unsafe conditions.

Hannah Watters: “I was concerned for the safety of everyone in that building and everyone in the county, because precautions that the CDC and guidelines that the CDC has been telling us for months now weren’t being followed.”

During a Paulding County School District meeting in May, board chair Jeff Fuller said coronavirus guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control were unfair, because the disease was “not affecting” students.

Jeff Fuller: “I don’t like to use this language, but those CDC guidelines, in my opinion, are complete crap. … I want us, as a school district in Paulding County, to lead the way in an absolute normal return to normal activities on August 3rd, if we are allowed to by law, without buying into the hype.”

The school district’s superintendent has called masks a “personal choice” and says they’re encouraged — but not required — at school. There’s widespread community transmission of coronavirus in Paulding County, and at least one teacher has resigned rather than risk in-person classes.

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