Georgian student who took picture of hallway says she receives threats


The Georgian teenager who was briefly hung up after sharing an image of a crowded high school hallway in which many students were seen without masks said she had received threats – as the school reported that ‘she was switching to online classes amid infections, according to reports.Hannah Watters, a sophomore at North Paulding High School, was suspended for violating school policies last week after posting the picture online of students crammed into the hallway. On Friday, she tweeted that the school had canceled 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, Ga., Parents informed on Saturday.

The school has been closed due to infections and the district announced it will be putting learning online on Monday and Tuesday.

Hannah told CNN that she, her family and friends had received threatening messages because of the uproar.

One message read, “I know where this girl lives,” Hannah told the network on Sunday.

Other missives included, “We’re going to skip all the girls named Hannah in tenth grade” and “Hannah is going to have a rough day at school on Monday,” Hannah said.

The girl said she understood why some people were angry, but insisted she was sharing the image because she thought it was the right thing to do.

“I feel like a lot of teachers support me because they know how dangerous it is to go to school. But I know a lot of the kids I go to school with have had negative reactions and threats and things like that, ”Hannah told CNN.

“I know I’m doing the right thing and that won’t stop me from continuing to do it. But it’s worrying, especially since it’s a lot of people I go to school with, people I have known for years now, who threaten me, ”she added.

Students pack the hallway at North Paulding High School
Students pack the hallway at North Paulding High SchoolAP

Hannah said many people told her they would be tested for COVID-19 after the school closed.

“I have heard many friends say that they had taken tests or that their family members or their teacher had been tested because it had not been safe for a 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 this week is concerning as we don’t know how many people these nine people have been in contact with,” continued Hannah.

“It’s going to spread like wildfire in this school,” she said, adding that she doesn’t think her school would have fixed the problem as quickly as if they hadn’t published the photo.

“We could have just delayed the 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.

Superintendent of Schools Brian Otott told parents they will find out Tuesday whether e-learning will stay in effect any longer.

“I apologize for any inconvenience this schedule change may cause,” he wrote, 11Alive reported. “But I hope we can all agree that the health and safety of our students and staff takes precedence over any other consideration at this time.”

The head of the school said the school would 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 are additional close contacts for confirmed cases that have not already been identified,” he wrote.


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