August 7, 2020 4:24:55 pm
As schools begin reopening in the United States amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, two teenagers in Georgia have alleged that they were suspended after sharing photographs of their high school’s crowded hallways on Twitter, which quickly went viral.
The photographs were captured soon after the school reopened on August 4 and showed hallways crammed with students who were exiting their classrooms without maintaining adequate social distance. Most of the teenagers in the images were seen without face masks, Buzzfeed reported.
School authorities at North Paulding High School alleged that the teenagers had violated the student code of conduct by using their phones without permission and sharing images of minors without their consent, Buzzfeed reported.
Hannah Watters, one of the students who received a five-day out-of-school suspension for posting an image and a video of the packed corridor, said that she shared the post on Twitter to raise awareness about mismanagement in schools during the pandemic.
“Not only did they open, but they have not been safe,” the 15-year-old told Buzzfeed. “Many people are not following CDC guidelines because the county did not make these precautions mandatory.”
According to Watters, fewer than half of the total number of students in each classroom were wearing a face mask after the school reopened. In the caption of the photograph she shared, Watters claimed that the school had a “10% mask rate”.
Since their suspension, the administration has allegedly cracked down on students attempting to take pictures within the school complex. According to the Buzzfeed report, the principal of the school announced on Wednesday that any student found criticising the school on social media would be penalised.
“I think my punishment’s severity was excessive, but I do understand that I violated a code of conduct policy,” Watters said.
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