Georgia student who shared image of packed hallway says she’s getting threats
The Georgia teen who was briefly suspended after sharing an image of a crowded high school hallway in which many students were seen without masks said she has received threats – as the school has announced it is moving to online classes amid infections, according to reports.
North Paulding High School sophomore Hannah Watters was suspended for violating school policies last week after posting online the image of students packed in the hallway. On Friday, she tweeted that the school had rescinded her suspension amid a public outcry.
Nine people – six students and three faculty members — have since tested positive for the coronavirus, the school in Dallas, Georgia, informed parents on Saturday.
The school was closed as a result of the infections and the district announced it would move learning online for Monday and Tuesday.
Hannah told CNN that she and her family and friends have received threatening messages over the uproar.
One message said “I know where this girl lives,” Hannah told the network on Sunday.
Other missives included, “We’re going to jump every girl named Hannah in the tenth grade,” and “Hannah is going to have a rough day at school on Monday,” Hannah said.
The girl said she understands why some people are angry but insisted she shared the image because she felt it was the right thing to do.
“I feel like a lot of teachers have my back because they know how dangerous it is going to school. But I know that a lot of the kids that I go to school with, I’ve already gotten backlash for it, threats and things like that,” Hannah told CNN.
“I know I’m doing the right thing and it’s not going to stop me from continuing doing it. But it is concerning, especially since it’s a lot of the people I go to school with, people I’ve known for years now, that are threatening me,” she added.
Hannah said many people have told her they are getting tested for COVID-19 after the school was closed.
“I’ve heard from many friends that they’ve been getting tests or that their family members or their teacher has gotten tested because it hasn’t been safe over these few days,” she told CNN.
“We were only in school for three days and the fact that we already have nine cases at the end of that week is concerning because we don’t know how many people those nine people came in contact with,” Hannah continued.
“It’s going to spread like wildfire in that school,” she said, adding that she doesn’t think her school would have addressed the issue as promptly as it did if she hadn’t posted the shot.
“We could have just delayed opening like many other schools,” she said. “They kind of sent us to school and used us as guinea pigs to see what would happen later on.”
Schools Superintendent Brian Otott told parents that they will find out Tuesday whether virtual learning will remain in effect longer.
“I apologize for any inconvenience this schedule change may cause,” he wrote, 11Alive reported. “But hopefully we can all agree that the health and safety of our students and staff takes precedence over any other considerations at this time.”
The schools chief said the high school it will be “thoroughly cleaned and disinfected” on Monday and Tuesday.
“The district will consult with the Department of Public Health to assess the environment and determine if there any additional close contacts for confirmed cases who have not already been identified,” he wrote.
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