Georgia Student’s Suspension Reversed After She Took Photos of Crowded, Largely Maskless School Hallways

Hannah Watters, via Associated Press

All summer, parents, students and teachers have been wondering what exactly the 2020-21 school year will look like. Will students return to the classrooms? How will schools make changes to comply with the guidelines set by the CDC?

The answer is different across the country. Some schools and school districts have decided to be 100% distance learning. Some schools are offering a hybrid approach and/or giving parents an option of sending their children to school in person or online. Some schools appear to be business as usual.

Hannah Watters is a 15-year-old student who attends North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia. School has resumed, and while students are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing, neither is being enforced.

The New York Times reports that Hannah was recently suspended from school when she broke one of the school’s policies. She took pictures of the students in her school and posted them on social media.

Hannah 100% admits that she broke the rules, but she felt that it was important in this case since the pictures show just how crowded the hallways in her schools are and that hardly anyone is wearing a face mask. She said, “My mom has always told me that she won’t get mad at us if we get in trouble as long as it’s ‘good trouble.’”

Lynn Watters, Hannah’s mother, contacted the school, and Hannah’s suspension has since been lifted and removed from her record.

Brian Otott, the school district’s superintendent, admitted, “There is no question that the photo does not look good.” However, in a letter to the community, he explained that students are only in the halls briefly when changing classes, so it looks worse than it really is.

Do you think Hannah should have been suspended for breaking the rules? Do you think schools should be allowed to ignore social distancing and mask wearing guidelines?