CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — As students in two metro Atlanta counties returned to class on Monday, students, parents and social media shared photos of what it looked like in the middle of a global pandemic.
Some showed students and faculty wearing masks and practicing social distancing, while others showed large groups with few masks and no social distancing.
In response to the photos, 11Alive reached out to the Cherokee County School District for a statement regarding the lack of masks and social distancing that was being shared in images.
"Masks are not mandated for students – they are strongly encouraged and recommended," Barbara Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, said. "The fact that masks would not be mandated for students is known to all CCSD parents, as it has been repeatedly communicated to them since the reopening plan was announced July 8."
Here are some of the photos.
In Paulding County, student pictures show crowded hallways at North Paulding High School in Dallas. Fewer than half of the students shown are wearing masks.
"So much for masks and social distancing," one person wrote in an email to 11Alive with the below photo from what appeared to be Sequoyah High School.
Another viewer pointed out an image that was allegedly posted to a Sequoyah High School social media account that was later deleted. It shows a large group of students with only a few people wearing masks. 11Alive decided to blur the faces of these students.
Another photo posted to social media shows a large group of students, also not wearing masks, at Etowah High School taking their traditional first day of school group picture. 11Alive decided to also blur the faces of these students.
A photo sent to the 11Alive newsroom shows a crowded hallway at Canton High School, but with what appears to show students wearing face masks.
At Sixes Elementary School in Canton, school officials posted an entire album of photos. Here's one of a classroom at the school taken on Monday. "1st Day of School was a SUCCESS at Sixes! So many smiling faces and kids glad to be back together again," they said on Facebook.