4:19 PM PT -- Superintendent Brian Otott is trying to downplay the situation to concerned parents, telling them the hallway was only packed for "just a brief period" while students went to their next class.
In a note to parents sent Tuesday evening, Otott admits the optics don't look good, and says the school district will make adjustments as the year progresses. He says there's "no practical way" to enforce a face covering mandate at the high school, and students and staff are simply being strongly encouraged to wear masks.
A Georgia school's reopening may very well be exhibit A on the lack of COVID-19 safety precautions in place for students ... just look at this hallway, which looks like a superspreader's dream.
The photo shows the first day back for kids in Paulding County, where -- with the support of the Georgia Department of Education in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health -- schools are opening up their doors with "guidelines, not mandates" on how to deal with the pandemic ... and judging from the pic it's an absolute failure.
Students are crammed in a narrow hallway, and at least half of them are walking side by side without face coverings.
Georgia's "Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools" lists "prioritizing safety" as its top concern for the reopenings ... but it sure doesn't look like that's being followed.
This school photo is not the only one to raise eyebrows this week in Georgia. Another from Etowah High School in Woodstock shows a large group of seniors bunched together for a color-coordinated clothing pic ... ALL without masks.
The troubling photos come on the heels of coronavirus cases being reported at other recently reopened schools across the country ... which has led to protests over the unsafe nature of doing so.
As everyone knows, kids can infect their parents and grandparents, but also the teachers are at risk when students are in situations that make transmission almost inevitable.
President Trump, of course, has been a vocal proponent of reopening schools ... while ignoring the inherent risks.