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Georgia High School Suspends Students for Tweeting Pics of Packed Campus

Two Georgia high school students were reprimanded and suspended after they posted pictures of crowded hallways to Twitter, Buzzfeed News reported on Thursday.

The images show students – most of whom are not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing guidelines – shuttling through the corridors of North Paulding High School on Tuesday, the first day of the fall semester.

The identity of the person who snapped the above photos is unknown. But other pictures began to pop up on social media, which drew the attention of school administrators.

The subsequent pictures were posted by 15-year-old Hannah Watters, who told Buzzfeed she received a five-day suspension for violating the student code of conduct. The second student, who wished to remain anonymous, said they were also suspended.

“The policies I broke stated that I used my phone in the hallway without permission, used my phone for social media, and posting pictures of minors without consent,” Watters said, adding that she took the photos to show that her school “ignorantly opened back up.”

“Not only did they open, but they have not been safe,” she told Buzzfeed. “Many people are not following CDC guidelines because the county did not make these precautions mandatory.”

Georgia is one of the dozens of states experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases. As of Wednesday, more than 200,000 cases had been reported and the death toll neared 4,000.

These grim statistics have undoubtedly been amplified by Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who has refused to mandate masks and has softened social gathering restrictions despite ongoing warnings from public health experts and an explosion in cases.

Last month, Kemp sued the city of Atlanta for mandating masks one day after voiding mandates in 15 other cities.

“Governor Kemp must be allowed, as the chief executive of this state, to manage the public health emergency without Mayor Bottoms issuing void and unenforceable orders which only serve to confuse the public,” the lawsuit states.



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