August 10, 2020 at 9:57 AM EDT
Georgia teen who shared viral images of packed school hallway says she’s getting threats
The Georgia teenager who was briefly suspended over viral images of her packed high school hallway says other teens are making threats against her, as her school closes down for cleaning amid a coronavirus outbreak.
Hannah Watters told CNN’s Boris Sanchez Sunday night that she and people close to her have seen pictures of menacing messages in group chats. She listed examples: “I know where this girl lives,” “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.”
“I feel like a lot of teachers have my back because they know how dangerous it is going to school,” Watters told CNN, adding later, “I know I’m doing the right thing and it’s not going to stop me from continuing doing it.”
“But it is concerning,” she said, “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.”
Watters was among at least two students suspended after sharing photos and video of their peers crowding indoors, many without masks. The posts propelled North Paulding High School into the national spotlight last week, highlighting the dangers of sending students back to classrooms — especially ones with uneven social distancing and mask-wearing.
Administrators reversed the suspensions on Friday after critics accused them of silencing concerned kids.
Six students and three staff members at the school in Dallas, Ga., have reported testing positive for the virus, Principal Gabe Carmona wrote in a letter sent to parents over the weekend. He said the infected people were in school “for at least some time” last week.
Superintendent Brian Otott later announced that the school will close Monday and Tuesday and revert to virtual learning while the building is cleaned.
By Hannah Knowles and Derek Hawkins