North Paulding High School to remain closed for 3rd day after positive COVID-19 cases

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — The Paulding County school district has decided to keep North Paulding High School closed for a third straight day after several confirmed cases of coronavirus.

At least three staff members and six students tested positive just days after the school started.

North Paulding High was the target of much scrutiny, after student Hannah Watters posted a picture of a jam-packed school hallway with few students wearing masks last week. The pictures went viral and garnered national attention.

Tuesday night, parents, students, and teachers showed up to a Paulding County Board of Education meeting.

“As much as we’re fearful of the unknown, the one thing I know is God is in control,” said parent Jennifer Whitlock.


Some parents want to make sure the district does not abandon face-to-face learning.

“If my children were to have to stay at home consistently and try and do this online with me and my wife working full time, my children, they’re not going to make it. I’m sorry,” said parent Stuart Reynolds.

And some teachers don't feel safe at school.

“Today, I have six students out of 80 students wearing masks and not only that, I had students making fun of the fact that I chose to wear a mask, that’s unacceptable,” said teacher Meredith Hanft.

The superintendent called on the community to help finish the school year “Paulding Strong.”

“It will take a team effort of students, parents, Paulding County staff, and the community but that’s what our community does best,” said superintendent Dr. Brian Otott.

The district says 20,000 students across the county are enrolled in face-to-face learning.

A full reopening plan is set to be released later Wednesday for the high school.