Paulding County High School Un-Suspends Student But Can't Un-Infect Students Who Got COVID-19
from the think-of-the-children dept
Well, that didn’t take long. We had just been discussing how the Paulding County School District had suspended a student for taking a photo of packed hallways filled with kids not wearing masks on the first day back to school a week or so ago. While the school mumbled something about the suspension being for using a phone without permission at school, the school also said the quiet part out loud over the intercom when it informed students that any social media activity that made the school look bad would result in “consequences.” In case it wasn’t already clear, that is blatantly unconstitutional, violating the students’ First Amendment rights.
In the least shocking news ever, the district has since reversed that suspension.
A Georgia high school has reversed course and lifted the suspension of two students who were punished after posting photos of the school’s packed hallways when classes resumed earlier this week. North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, faced national criticism over the viral photos showing students shoulder-to-shoulder, with fewer than half wearing masks.
“This morning my school called and they have deleted my suspension,” she wrote.
“To be 100% clear, I can go back to school on Monday. I couldn’t have done this without all the support, thank you.”
It appears that someone taught school administrators how the country’s governing document works and caused them to run as fast as they could from the original decision to suspend anyone over free speech. Now, onto that bit about being able to go back to school on Monday. The problem with that is shortly after those controversial pictures were taken, a whole bunch of kids at the school got COVID-19. Again, this is not surprising.
Just days after a photo of crowded hallways at North Paulding High School went viral, parents were informed Saturday of nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus at the school.
Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Nicole Carr got a copy of the letter. Principal Gabe Carmona wrote that six students and three staff members who were in school last week have since reported positive tests for COVID-19.
And, as a result, North Paulding High School has fully shut down due to the spike in cases.
So, to recap, Paulding County suspended a student for essentially showing the world why she was fearful of attending her own school, due to state and local officials being absolutely callous with student safety, then unsuspended her, and are now dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak among students and staff. Hannah Watters, one of the students initially suspended for the photos, probably doesn’t feel all that much vindication, however, so busy is she dealing with threats she’s getting.
Watters said she’s faced threats since she and another student shared pictures that captured national attention showing students shoulder-to-shoulder in a crowded hallway, many without masks.
“I know I’m doing the right thing and it’s not going to stop them from doing it, but it is concerning, especially since it’s a lot of the people that I go to school with,” she said. “People I’ve known for years now that are threatening me now.'”
If one were trying to advertise to the public why they should not want to move their family to Paulding County, I can’t imagine any agency coming up with anything better than precisely what has occurred there in this story.