A US high school student who was suspended for posting images of crowded school hallways on social media has had her suspension overturned as the school records nine cases of COVID-19.
It comes as figures from the American Academy of Pediatrics show 97,000 children tested positive to coronavirus in the past two weeks of July as schools around the country hardest hit by the pandemic send students back into classrooms.
The US has recorded more than five million coronavirus cases, with 338,000 of them children.
More than 162,000 people have died, with 25 children dying last month.
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Hannah Watters, 15, shared a photo from North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia as she and other students returned to class from Monday last week.
She also kept a running tally of how many students at the school were wearing masks, finding the majority of students in her classes were not.
“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.”
Another student was also suspended for posting photos on an anonymous account.
The school said the suspensions were for violating school policies about social media use, but following an outcry from critics accusing the school of silencing the students, the suspensions were lifted on Friday.
“At this time, we know there were six students and three staff members who were in school for at least some time last week who have since reported to us that they have tested positive,” a letter sent to parents from North Paulding High School Principal Gabe Carmona said on Saturday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
One parent who spoke to AJC said two of her children tested positive, with one coming home with symptoms on the first day classes resumed.
This week the school is starting classes online.
Classrooms were also empty on Thursday and Friday last week, which was planned ahead of time to give administrators a chance to assess safety protocols.
The school district will decide whether to resume in-person classes on Tuesday.