Suspension lifted for Georgia student who posted photo of crowded hall


DALLAS, Ga. (CNN/Nexstar Media Wire) — A Georgia high school student says she was suspended after she posted a photo of a crowded hallway at her school.

Hannah Watters, a sophomore at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, posted a photo on Twitter showing students walking down a crowded hallway.

Some students were wearing masks, but not all.

The 15-year-old said she posted the photo 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,” Hannah said. “And I took it out of mostly concern and nervousness after seeing the first days of school.”

She said she was suspended after being accused of breaking several codes of conduct.

Paulding County School’s Superintendent Brian Otott said in a letter to the community that the photo was taken out of context.

“There is no question that the photo does not look good,” he wrote. “Students are in this hallway environment for just a brief period as they move to their next class.”

He also said: “Class changes at the high school level are a challenge when maintaining a specific schedule. It is an area we are continuing to work on in this new environment to find practicable ways to further limit students from congregating….Wearing a mask is a personal choice and there is no practical way to enforce a mandate to wear them.”

Otott said masks are not required at the school, though they are strongly encouraged.

Friday afternoon Hannah’s mother told CNN that her daughter’s suspension has been reversed.

Hannah’s mother, Lynne Watters, spoke with the school’s principal Friday morning by phone, she told CNN. The woman was told her daughter would not be suspended and that a suspension would not appear on her daughter’s record.

Hannah will be in school on Monday, she and her mother told CNN.

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