North Paulding High School

This photo of students in a crowded North Paulding High School hallway drew criticism for the lack of social distancing and masks.

North Paulding High School Principal Gabe Carmona can be heard in a recording telling students there will be “consequences” for students who share photos and videos to social media.

In audio leaked from North Paulding High School, Carmona can be heard warning students not to share videos or photos to social media.

“Anything that’s going on social media that is negative in our light without permission — that’s photography, that’s video — there will be consequences for those students or anyone who sends out those pictures,” Carmona said in the recording. “So please be careful and not send out things.”

The comment comes just a day after someone posted a photo of students in a crowded North Paulding hallway during class change. In the photo, a majority of students are not wearing a mask and none are social distancing.

North Paulding has allegedly suspended at least two students, including the student who posted the hallway photo.

There are also claims that two North Paulding staff members tested positive for COVID-19, but the school has no intentions of closing its doors. Superintendent Brian Otott sent an email to parents saying he had no intentions of mandating masks and the photo was taken out of context.

“Students are in this hallway environment for just a brief period as they move to their next class,” Otott wrote. “There is no question that the photo does not look good. I can understand if your first reaction was one of concern.”

Over the weekend, the Paulding County School System was alerted of several football players at North Paulding High School who tested positive for the coronavirus. Football practice has been suspended for a week.

On the first day of school, Aug. 3, a Paulding County elementary student also tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to county spokesperson Jay Dillon, the student fell ill that day and was taken for rapid testing later Monday evening. The elementary classroom had 27 students. Those students who the school said had close contact with the sick child were told to stay home and quarantine. Dillon said the student also rode the bus Monday morning.

Otott has not responded to Neighbor Newspapers’ request for comment.

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