Student who posted photo of crowded school hallway no longer suspended

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DALLAS, Ga. (NEXSTAR/CNN)– The mother of a student that was suspended after posting a photo on Twitter that showed her high school’s crowded hallways tells CNN that her daughter’s suspension has been reversed.

The viral photo showed students at North Paulding High School, outside Atlanta, Georgia, crowded in hallways and with few visible masks. Hannah Watters, the sophomore who posted it, said she was initially suspended over the act.

Her mother, Lynne Watters, told CNN she spoke with the principal of the school by phone on Friday morning. She was told that her daughter would not be suspended and that a suspension would not appear on her daughter’s record.

Hannah Watters, a sophomore at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, posted the photo on Twitter showing students walking down a crowded hallway.

Some students were wearing masks, but not all.

The 15-year-old said she posted the photo because she was concerned.

“I took the photo initially after seeing the first day of school photo taken by someone else go online as well and got picked up by some media coverage,” Hannah said. “And I took it out of mostly concern and nervousness after seeing the first days of school.”

She said she was suspended after being accused of breaking several codes of conduct.

Paulding County School’s Superintendent Brian Otott said in a letter to the community that the photo was taken out of context.

“There is no question that the photo does not look good,” he wrote. “Students are in this hallway environment for just a brief period as they move to their next class.”

He also said: “Class changes at the high school level are a challenge when maintaining a specific schedule. It is an area we are continuing to work on in this new environment to find practicable ways to further limit students from congregating.”

Otott said masks are not required at the school, though they are strongly encouraged.

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