Hillary Clinton touts student suspended over crowded hallway photo: ‘John Lewis would be proud’

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Hillary Clinton on Friday praised a Georgia high school student who invoked the late Rep. John Lewis’s (D-Ga.) famous phrase “good trouble” to refer to her punishment for sharing pictures of crowded hallways during the coronavirus pandemic.

“John Lewis would be proud,” the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate wrote on Twitter.

Hannah Watters, a 15-year-old student at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., was one of the two students suspended this week after their social media posts went viral.

The photos and footage showed fellow students, many of whom were not wearing masks or face coverings, moving through the crowded hallways.

Watters acknowledged that she breached a school policy that bans filming students and posting images to social media without their consent.

However, she told The New York Times that she does not regret raising awareness about the lack of social distancing measures in her school.

“My mom has always told me that she won’t get mad at us if we get in trouble as long as it’s ‘good trouble,’” Watters said, invoking the phrase from Lewis. “You’re bettering society and bettering the world, so those consequences don’t outweigh the end result.” 

Lewis, an original Freedom Rider who represented Atlanta and some of its suburbs for more than 30 years in Congress, died last month at the age of 80. He used the phrase “good trouble” to refer to his arrests and activism during the civil rights movement.

Watters announced on Friday morning that her five-day suspension had been lifted after the swell of media attention.

Georgia is among a number of states that does not require people to wear masks in public, despite guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promoting the use of face coverings to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

Masks are encouraged, but not required, at North Paulding High School. The district’s guidelines say that staff members will try to require students to maintain social distancing, but that it would be impossible “to enforce social distancing in classrooms or on school buses unless it is a class or a bus with fewer students,” the Times reported. 

North Paulding High reopened for the year on Monday. There have already been reports of a coronavirus outbreak among the school’s football team, according to the Times. 

Tags coronavirus guidelines coronavirus pandemic face masks Hillary Clinton John Lewis John Lewis Social distancing
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