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US: Georgia High School Students Suspended for Social Media Posts Showing Packed Hallways

Two Georgia high school students said they were suspended from school this week for social media posts showing crowded hallways at North Paulding High School. Another picture of largely maskless students packed together in between classes, quickly went viral, sweeping the school, which is about an hour outside of Atlanta, and the students up in a national debate over the safety and wisdom of reopening schools for the new academic year in the middle of a pandemic.

One of the disciplined students is 15-year-old sophomore Hannah Watters, who told BuzzFeed News that she received a five-day suspension for posting one video and one photo to Twitter, neither of which were the original viral photo. “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,” she said. Watters admitted to breaking some of the school’s rules on social media use, but that it was done in service of protecting the school community’s health and safety. “I’d like to say this is some good and necessary trouble,” Watters told CNN. “My biggest concern is not only about me being safe, it’s about everyone being safe because behind every teacher, student and staff member, there is a family, there are friends, and I would just want to keep everyone safe.”

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