Etowah High School in Cherokee County, Georgia has shut down after dozens of students and teachers in the district tested positive for COVID-19. Now, some students at the school are sharing alarming images from their first week of classes showing very few masks and a lack of social distancing.
"Since we’ve reopened, and as of this morning, there have been 59 positive COVID-19 tests confirmed among our students and staff, which have led us to mandate two-week quarantines for 925 students and staff," said Brian Hightower, Superintendent of Cherokee County School District, in a Tuesday statement.
One photo showing a group of students posing side-by-side without masks was widely circulated online. Inside Edition's Lisa Guerrero asked sophomore Jonathan Linville if students were social distancing before the shutdown.
"Not at all," Jonathan said. "My second period, we would have hundreds of people trying to pack down a staircase."
Etowah High School told Inside Edition that “all students have been repeatedly reminded of the importance of social distancing and wearing masks.”
In nearby Sequoyah High School, there was a similar back-to-school picture taken, and a Spanish teacher Allison Webb resigned over the conditions.
"I don't fault our kids, I fault our community for not effectively communicating to them the stakes and the science," Webb said. "I think that they expected a return to normalcy that is simply irresponsible and unsafe."