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Georgia School Reverses Decision To Suspend Student Who Shared Pictures Of Classmates Without Masks

Screenshot/North Paulding High School via YouTube

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A high school in Georgia reversed its decision to suspend a student Friday after she shared pictures and videos of a crowded hallway full of classmates who were not wearing masks.

Dallas, Georgia resident Lynne Watters said in a comment Friday morning that North Paulding High School ended her 15-year old daughter Hannah’s five-day suspension after she and at least one other student shared photos and videos of the school, The Washington Post reported.

Hannah also tweeted that she would be allowed to return to school Monday.

“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,” Watters told the Post in a text message. “[The principal] confirmed that she will have no disciplinary action on her record and she can return to school on Monday.”

Hannah was suspended earlier this week for violating various provisions of North Paulding High School’s code of conduct, CNN reported. These included using a cell phone and social media during school hours and violating students’ privacy. The photos and videos depicted hallways packed with students — many weren’t wearing masks.

Paulding County School District Superintendent Brian Otott said the now viral images were taken out of context in a letter to the community Wednesday. “Students are in this hallway environment for just a brief period as they move to their next class,” he wrote. “There is no question that the photo does not look good,” he later added.

Otott sent another letter to parents Thursday that said the district would provide all staff with masks and face shields. He also said schools would work to reduce crowding in hallways, The Washington Post reported. (RELATED: 116 Students Quarantined After Coronavirus Cases Spike In Mississippi School District)

A district notice released Tuesday said social distancing and masks were “strongly encouraged” but not a requirement. The notice also said it would be difficult to enforce such requirements, especially in school buses and classrooms.

Georgia has reported 209,000 coronavirus cases and more than 4,000 confirmed deaths, according to the state’s public health department.