Steve August 4, 2020

On August 4 2020, a purported photograph of the first day of school in Paulding County, Georgia circulated on social media — showing a densely crowded school hallway and only a few students wearing masks:


The same image was shared to Reddit’s r/trashyr/pics, and r/awfuleverything:

First day of school in Paulding County, GA from pics

First day of school in Paulding County, GA from awfuleverything

It was shared on Twitter, too. and Imgur:

According to a link shared by the Paulding County School District’s Facebook page and on Twitter, the official first day of school in that county was August 3 2020:

It looked as if the image was sourced from an Instagram account since made private via a tweet shared early on the morning of August 3 2020:

Another prominent iteration involved gossip site TMZ, but they provided no information about the source of the image. An article by didn’t directly feature the photograph, but included reporting about Paulding County’s in-person school attendance estimates.

A headline for that article, “Students who want virtual learning are forced into in-person school because of waiting list,” indicated that families who wished to opt-in to virtual learning were not always able to select that option. While on the waitlist, students were required to attend school in person:

There is no requirement that they [wear masks], even after the principal of North Paulding High School sent a letter to parents telling them that members of the school’s football team had tested positive and that their children may have been exposed, as well.

The school system’s policies, which are posted on the system’s website, say, in part, that “schools will employ social distancing as it is feasible and practical.” As for masks, the schools “will encourage students, teachers, and bus drivers to wear masks… wearing a face mask is a personal choice….”


A school system spokesperson confirms that students on the waiting list for at-home, on-line learning are required to be in school in the meantime.

The spokesperson said that parents of 70 percent of Paulding County’s 31,000 students chose to send their children back to school for in-person classes. That’s nearly 22,000 students. The parents of 30 percent of the students, about 9,000 students, opted for at-home, on-line learning. Information on how many of the 9,000 students are on the waiting list for the on-line learning option was not immediately available.

Although we were unable to confirm the original source for the “first day of school in Paulding, Georgia” image, it began circulating around August 3 2020 — when school officially opened in Paulding County. Reporting indicated that due to a waitlist for online learning, many of the schools students were required to attend classes in person.

We have contacted the school district for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

The post First Day of School in Paulding County, Georgia appeared first on Truth or Fiction?.

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