Georgia high school student Hannah Watters, who was suspended after she shared a photo of students at her institution crowded into a hallway and mostly not wearing masks, has just gotten her suspension reversed, CNN reported.
Across the country, schools are wrestling with how — or even if — to reopen while the coronavirus pandemic rages. Many have opted for distance learning, while others are bringing back the children into the buildings for in-person instruction. In those cases, officials are hoping that the kids will wear masks and abide by social distancing procedures.
However, that does not appear to have been the case at North Paulding High School. Hannah, a sophomore at the school, took a photo of a scene at her building that showed dozens of teens crowded into a hallway, with mere inches between them and few of them wearing masks.
“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,” she said.
Day two at North Paulding High School. It is just as bad. We were stopped because it was jammed. We are close enough to the point where I got pushed multiple go to second block. This is not ok. Not to mention the 10% mask rate. pic.twitter.com/JKbGYqG9RS
— hannah (@ihateiceman) August 4, 2020
For her efforts, as The Inquisitr reported, she was suspended for five days. The young lady’s suspension made national headlines, as it appeared the teen was being punished for making her school look bad.
However, Hannah’s mother, Lynne Watters, says she was told that her daughter had been suspended for violating multiple school rules. These included using her mobile device during school hours, using social media during school hours, and violating her classmates’ privacy by photographing them and sharing the photo without their consent.
Further, Superintendent Brian Otott sent a letter to the community, claiming that the photo was taken out of context. He noted that class changes are a “challenge” for the school and that they are trying to find a remedy. He also pointed out that the kids are only in the hallway for a few minutes while they change classes.
He also noted that the lack of compliance with masks is the students’ personal choice — over which he has no control.
“Wearing a mask is a personal choice, and there is no practical way to enforce a mandate to wear them.”
Ultimately, Hannah’s suspension was overturned, according to her mom. She says she spoke with the principal on the phone on Friday and was told that Hannah can return to class on Monday and that she will not have a disciplinary infraction on her record.
Hannah, for her part, called the whole episode “some good and necessary trouble.”