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COVID message suggests Paulding County parents not have kids tested

In the first week of school, 54 staff members and students tested positive for the virus.

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — As more students go back to school, districts are learning how to cope with COVID-19. 

But one method 11Alive uncovered may be a major health concern. A woman on Facebook shared a post from what appeared to be a closed group. 

11Alive cannot independently verify the comments. But the post encourages Paulding County parents to keep their kids at home if they get sick, and not report the virus or get them tested.

Paulding County knows better than most of the virus's impact after positive cases forced the district into complete virtual learning all within the first week of school.

Even now, parents are still divided over whether students should be face-to-face or virtual.

"I’m here because I have a 76-year-old mother in law who lives in the community," said Josh Plancher in front of a rally countering his plea for remote learning.

Dueling rallies faced off in Paulding County on Friday, clashing over the best way for students to learn during a COVID outbreak. Plancher raised his concern for in-person instruction. He was outnumbered by another group pushing for it. 

"It’s our right to deserve a proper education and digital learning is not it," said North Paulding High School student, Mariah Krakowski. 

The sophomore said being back in the classroom is better academically, socially, and mentally. 

Plancher, on the other hand, is not completely opposed to in-person learning but feels serious changes need to be made.

"I’d just like to see really a pause, a pause in general, and public conversation about how we can take care of our community better," said Plancher. 

In its first week of school, the Paulding County School District reported 54 total COVID-19 cases. About 30 of them were cases in school or confirmed cases of staff and students who spent time on campus.

North Paulding High School closed for virtual learning for five days after reporting nine positive cases. 

Families at the rally said they understand the risk but that everyone should be able to decide on their own.  

"If you want to stay home, stay home, and if you want to go to school, go to school," said Krakowski.

Starting on Monday, students at North Paulding High School will move to a hybrid schedule. It will include virtual and in-person learning.