Teen Suspended For Speaking Out Gets Some Much-Deserved Revenge
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Teen Suspended For Speaking Out Gets Some Much-Deserved Revenge

In the era of COVID, tensions run high. Like many Americans, high school student Hannah Watters was feeling the pain of the prolonged pandemic and needed a way to vent her building frustration. However, she was met with the wrath of her principal and other students because of her documentation of what was happening in her school. She had no idea how quickly the administration would take action against her — all because of one split-second decision.

Hannah was a sophomore at North Paulding High School in Georgia, which is near Atlanta. She captured an image of students in her school, which had made the choice to reopen for the incoming class of 2021.

Hannah Watters

As time marched on to the fall of 2020, schools were making decisions on reopening. Some gave parents the option for online classes and some didn’t. Other locations decided against reopening and moved fully online.

Betsy Joles/Getty Images

Disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that if schools implemented strong social distancing practices, they would prevent infection. Even so, sending children to school during the pandemic was something that many parents struggled with.

North Paulding decided their strategy would be to reopen with new health mandates in place. Hannah immediately noticed these weren’t being followed and that others needed to see what was taking place in the passing period. 

Steve Schaefer

And so, she took this picture. In the image, there are only a few students wearing masks and everyone is pressed together in the tight hallway. No one is social distancing here or seems worried about limiting physical contact.

Hannah Watters

When the administration realized what Hannah had shared, they suspended her for five days. Hannah didn’t care. She was proud of herself for sharing the picture so that everyone could see the truth behind what was actually happening in her high school.

Journal-News

“I was concerned for the safety of everyone in that building and everyone in the county because precautions that the CDC and guidelines that the CDC has been telling us for months now, weren’t being followed,” Hannah said.

CDC

Their reason was she broke the conduct code by using a cell phone and social media during the day and taking pictures of others without their permission, thus violating their privacy. 

However, Hannah had posted her picture after school, and students were allowed to use their phones outside of class. She admitted that she did take pictures of students without their knowledge — and she doesn’t regret it.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“I’d like to say this is some good and necessary trouble,” Hannah said. “My biggest concern is not only about me being safe, it’s about everyone being safe because behind every teacher, student and staff member there is a family, there are friends, and I would just want to keep everyone safe.”

Hannah Watters

Gabe Carmona, the school’s principal, wanted to dissuade other students from taking pictures, announcing, “Anything that’s going on social media that is negative or alike without permission, photography, that’s video that’s anything, there will be consequences.”

@PACK_FOOTBALL / Twitter

In response to Gabe’s unfriendly announcement, Georgia State House member Beth Moore created an anonymous email account so anyone could report an unsafe environment. In a week, she received 650 messages.

Beth Moore / Youtube

However, Superintendent Brian Otott chimed in to say that viewers needed context for Hannah’s photo. “Class changes at the high school level are a challenge when maintaining a specific schedule. It is an area we are continuing to work on in this new environment to find practicable ways to further limit students from congregating,” he wrote in a community letter.

@pauldingboe / Youtube

“Students are in this hallway environment for just a brief period as they move to their next class. (…) There is no question that the photo does not look good. (…) Wearing a mask is a personal choice, and there is no practical way to enforce a mandate to wear them,” the superintendent wrote.

The Dallas New-Era

Hannah agreed that students are only in the halls for about five minutes, but in that time, they come in contact with countless others, creating numerous opportunities for COVID to spread.

In response, the administration has switched to two virtual learning days. And Lynne Watters, Hannah’s mom, spoke with Principal Carmona about her suspension. The incident was removed from her record, and she soon returned to school.

Yet since posting the picture, Hannah has received troubling messages. “People I’ve known for years now that are threatening me now,” she said. The school itself already had to close for cleaning after six students and three staff tested positive for COVID.

Hannah explained that the senior class is particularly angry with her because they want to enjoy their final year of high school. She wants everyone to understand that “… when I did ‘expose’ Paulding County, it wasn’t to cancel the senior year, it’s not to go after anyone, it was just to keep us all safe.”

Marietta Daily Journal

Hannah continues to express frustration toward the North Paulsen administration for supporting the school’s reopening even though the rest of the state has a high rate of coronavirus cases.

“We could have just delayed opening like many other schools and many other counties,” Hannah said. “They kind of sent us to school and used us as guinea pigs to see what would happen later on.” But at least Hannah took heart in hearing stories of other brave teenagers who risked suspension to do the right thing.

Hannah Watters

The Johnson family was a happy one. They lived out a peaceful existence in Poth, Texas, where dad, Alan, and mom, Jamie, worked hard to provide a good childhood for their kids Newt, Jasper, and Maggie.

Facebook – Jamie Johnson

Maggie, the youngest, was in fifth grade. She attended Poth Elementary while Jasper went to Poth Junior High. Newt, the oldest at 16, was a student at Poth High School. Soon, however, the children’s education became complicated…

Facebook – Poth Pirates

On an ordinary day in October, Maggie became very ill, complaining of debilitating cramps and crippling nausea. Incredibly alarmed and confused, her parents rushed with her to the local children’s hospital.

Heritage Center

Once the family arrived, they learned the awful truth about their cherished daughter’s condition: It was worse than any of them ever could have imagined — and it seemed like just the day before, she was completely fine…

Facebook Jamie Johnson

In reality, Maggie was not completely fine. The doctors broke the tragic news to the Johnsons: their little girl had kidney failure. Something wasn’t right, though…the girl had been young, active, and seemingly healthy. It just wasn’t adding up.

Facebook – Poth lsd Poth lsd

Then the second bombshell was revealed. Maggie’s kidney failure was a result of Granulomatosis with Polyangiitus, a rare autoimmune disease. No one had had any idea until that fateful day at the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.

Facebook – Poth lsd Poth lsd

This disease inflames the blood vessels in the nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and kidneys. It’s extremely uncommon as well as incredibly dangerous. A lack of treatment could spell out death for a patient.

WikiCommons

The symptoms of the illness are varied but may include prolonged sinus infections, nosebleeds, numbness, and joint pain. One side effect in particular was especially troubling for the little girl…

Granulomatosis also causes hair to fall out. Maggie, who had always cherished her bright red locks, was totally devastated. Her life was already going to change in so many ways, and now she wouldn’t even look like herself.

Kassey Weaver

Suddenly, in the midst of all the despair, her 16-year-old brother Newt remembered something. He recalled how Maggie had always complimented him on his flowing locks. In that moment he knew exactly what he had to do.

News 4 San Antonio

The teen decided to grow his hair out for his baby sister. He felt compelled to do anything in his power to help her on the long and trying journey she had ahead. It was the least he could do.

News 4 San Antonio

“It made me feel good that I could do something for her,” Newt said. He loved his sister, and seeing her in pain hurt him more than anything else. However there was one obstacle that would conflict majorly with his heartwarming plan.

Facebook – Jamie Johnson

In order to grow the proper amount of hair necessary if Maggie were to need a wig, he’d need between eight and fourteen inches. The issue was that this violated the rules laid out in his school’s handbook…

Ally Cadence

See, Poth High School had very strict rules regarding the length of boys’ hair, stipulating that it “shall not extend beyond the ear opening on the sides nor beyond the top of a dress shirt collar in the back.”

Poth Independent School District

“Hair may not extend over the top of the eyebrow, hang over the face and eyes or be distracting to others or self,” the guidelines continued. Newt was not typically a rule-breaker, but in this instance, he felt he had to make an exception.

Paramount Pictures – The Addams Family

So, as the weeks went by and his hair began to grow longer and longer, school officials did not take this infraction lightly. Eventually they gave him an ultimatum: cut it, or he wouldn’t be permitted to return to school.

TriStar Pictures – Matilda

“It really stressed me out because I already worried about my sister,” the addled teen remarked. The school was making an already incredibly difficult situation even worse, by complicating the one way that Newt knew he could help Maggie.

Facebook – Jamie Johnson

The deadline that Poth High School had given Newt came and went. One day he got to class and received an unwelcome surprise. His hair was in violation of the dress code; school officials called his mom, and she was forced to pick the teen up.

News 4 San Antonio

However, no matter what the school said, Newt wasn’t going to stop his efforts to help his sister. He was forced to make a dramatic decision: the 16 year-old opted to be home-schooled.

News 4 San Antonio

It wasn’t how Newt had envisioned his high school career going, but at that point, nothing else mattered. “I don’t understand why he has to get in trouble for doing this for me,” Maggie woefully remarked.

News 4 San Antonio

The school has issued a response, but not a very convincing one. “It was never about not supporting a sick child,” insisted Paula, the district’s superintendent. She went on to emphasize the $3,000 raised by the district in support of the struggling family.

Poth Independent School District

However no amount of money can replace the priceless gift that Newt was giving his sister. Not only would she have a wig in the event that all her hair did fall out, but she knew for certain just how far her brother’s love extended.

Facebook – Jamie Johnson

“Listen to your kids,” the children’s father Alan said. “If they really believe in something, even if it does go against the rules, sometimes you just have to dig deep, see if it’s really worth it or not. It’s worth it.”

News 4 San Antonio

Newt is not the only one to go out on a limb for his sibling. Twin sisters Jill Noe and Whitney Bliesner were as close as could be, and they swore to always be there for each other. At the same time, the two women were pretty different — no carbon-copy twins here.

People

Despite Jill’s giving attitude toward her sister, she had a serious competitive streak. She was a star point guard on Arizona State University’s basketball team and was still in peak athletic form long after graduation. Her sister wasn’t as fortunate.

Cactus Ranch / Robert Kline

For many years, Whitney seemed just as happy and healthy as her twin. But troubling symptoms started to pop up at an early age. Her vision and hearing deteriorated, sending the family into a panic.

ABC News

Doctors diagnosed Whitney with type 2 neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes tumors to spread across the nervous system. While the growths weren’t cancerous, they did dramatically change Whitney’s life.

Specifically, the disease made Whitney partially blind in one eye and permanently damaged her hearing. Nevertheless, she took it all in stride — and managed to find love.

Pete Bliesner was a dream come true for Whitney, who feared she’d never get the chance to marry after all her health scares. Jill proudly watched her twin tie the knot, and soon, the two sisters were discussing the future.

Facebook / Jill Noe

Both Jill and Whitney valued family, so the new bride knew all along that she wanted kids of her own. Her neurofibromatosis, however, made pregnancy a difficult prospect. Years passed as she and Pete tried in vain to conceive.

Facebook / Jill Noe

By 2018, Whitney was 35 and running out of time. With the old-fashioned method failing them, she and Pete began considering adoption. A surrogate was another option, albeit an expensive one. Jill then approached her sister with an idea.

Arizona Republic

The twins had long been close as could be, so wouldn’t it make the most sense for Jill to be Whitney’s surrogate? This gave the Bliesers the best shot at a child, plus they wouldn’t have to rely on a stranger.

Inside Edition

Tearing up, Whitney accepted her sister’s offer. Using donor eggs and Pete’s sperm, they underwent in vitro fertilization. The twins could only hope that this last-ditch effort would pan out.

It didn’t take too long for the good news to arrive. The procedure worked, and soon Jill was swelling up like a balloon. She and Whitney were so excited as they went in for an ultrasound. However, they didn’t see quite what they’d expected.

CNN

Everyone in the family had their hopes up for an image of a healthy baby boy or girl. Instead, they saw two fetuses there. The family was about to welcome their second straight generation of twins!

ABC News

This revelation blew Jill’s mind. Though no pregnancy was easy, she now had to deal with carrying two babies at once. The hardened athlete had to admit that she had a daunting task ahead of her.

That fear, however, was nothing next to the excitement she felt for Pete and Whitney. Learning that they were expecting boys, the parents-to-be picked out names and ordered some custom onesies.

People

Even the lucky mom and her surrogate got in on the custom clothing order! Naturally, they had to order very different sizes, as Jill was in the thick of her final trimester. It wouldn’t be long before the moment of truth.

As trying as the conception was, the actual delivery went off without a hitch. Rhett and Rhenley were born in June 2019. The two sisters couldn’t believe they got to experience such a special moment together.

Oregon Live

Jill actually felt grateful to be at the center of her sister’s life-changing event. “It’s my best friend, someone I’ve come into this world with so it was really a no-brainer that I’d offer to be her surrogate,” she said.

MSN

Rhett and Rhenley were a joy for the entire family. Whitney and Jill expected that the twins would become as good friends as they were. The brothers had such a bright future ahead of them.

Facebook / Jill Noe

And after everything Whitney went through, starting a family made all her struggles worthwhile. “I’m a mom now,” she realized. “There are no words to describe it.” Of course, pregnancies have a way of surprising families, even when surrogates aren’t involved.

Today

Just months after their wedding, Bethani and Tim Webb of Hythe in Alberta, Canada, were ecstatic to learn they were going to have a baby. They’d planned to wait a year before having a kid, but couldn’t help but be elated by the news.

Bethany Esther Irene Webb / Facebook

A few months afterward, during a routine visit at the doctor’s office, the couple was asked an unexpected question: did either of their families have histories of multiple births? Confused, Tim and Bethani both shook their heads.

That was when the doctor gave the couple the shock of a lifetime: “She turned the screen and she started counting babies and she counted baby one, baby two, baby three…” Bethani recalled. “You can stop at baby three. Baby three is enough… and then she counted out the fourth baby.”

Bethani immediately started to panic. Obviously, quadruplets would be an enormous challenge—and one that was incredibly rare. In fact, in 2015, there were only 228 sets of quadruplets born in the entire United States!

CBC News / YouTube

Most families with quadruplets had the aid of fertility treatment; there’s also only a one-in-729,000 chance of having quadruplets naturally. So it was understandable that, when Bethani and Tim shared the news with their families, they assumed they were joking!

CTV News / YouTube

Of course, they were entirely serious. The couple quickly considered the logistics. Bethani said that she “realized that we didn’t have a vehicle that could support four babies.” They would also need to temporarily move in with Tim’s mother, as their one-bedroom apartment simply wasn’t big enough for six people.

Their finances would be another issue. It’s a costly affair to raise just one child, let alone four! “Four strollers, four car seats, four cribs. Diapers—diapers everywhere,” Bethani said. All the while, the due date continued to loom…

The pregnancy itself went well until, at 33 weeks, Bethani was transferred to the larger Royal Alexandra Hospital in nearby Edmonton for a C-section. It was there that the couple finally welcomed their daughters—Abigail, Emily, Grace, and McKayla—into the world!

Remember how there was only a one-in-729,000 chance of having quadruplets through natural means? Well, the Webbs were even luckier, because the odds of all four of their babies being girls were just one in 15 million!

There are few guarantees with any pregnancy, but each one of the Webbs’ quadruplets was as healthy as she could be. “I feel overwhelmingly awesome that the babies are here,” Tim said. “I feel blessed.”

Becoming a dad took on a special meaning for Tim, who’d lost his father just a year before the quadruplets were born. Thankfully, he’d have plenty of chances to make his late father proud!

CTV News / YouTube

Of course, nothing could help Tim prepare for being the only man in the house. He was largely outnumbered! Nonetheless, he was happy to have such a beautiful family, and he tried to take his role as a new dad in stride—exhausting as it might have been.

Though the babies were a handful, Bethani and Tim were completely in love with their big family—and they made sure to see the silver lining in everything, even when times were tough. “At least [we] get one nice perk to it all,” Bethani joked. “It was nice that we didn’t have to pick our favorite [baby names].”

CTV News / YouTube

Despite being able to use all of their top name choices, the couple came across one unique problem: trying to tell each baby apart! They needed to find some way to help make the girls look visually distinct…

Bethani Esther Irene Webb / Facebook

Bethani and Tim developed a nifty color-coding system. They selected yellow for Grace, purple for Emily, blue for Abigail, and pink for McKayla—though those colors would change slightly. (Grace would eventually wear red while Abigail wore green, for instance.)

They painted the girls’ nails in designated colors, and the quadruplets would wear different-colored earrings once they were old enough to get their ears pierced. Still, Bethani and Tim enjoyed matching their daughters’ outfits. How could they resist?

Thankfully, Bethani and Tim observed that their daughters all displayed different personalities right away. It was important to them that they addressed each of their babies’ needs—and recognized them as individuals.

Bethani Esther Irene Webb / Facebook

With their rare birth and individual quirks, the young quadruplets and their adorable photos quickly took the internet by storm. Of course, one baby would be cute enough, but four identical babies were another story!

Bethani Esther Irene Webb / Facebook

Fortunately, the Webbs’ unique situation caught the eye of their local community. Caring neighbors in their hometown of Hythe set up a GoFundMe campaign to help offset the enormous costs. Some even held fundraisers for the family!

As hectic as it might have been, the Webbs were dedicated, and they quickly found a routine that worked for them. “I don’t know what I’d do without them,” Bethani said of her beautiful family. Just take a peek at what life was like for the Webbs below…

The post Teen Suspended For Speaking Out Gets Some Much-Deserved Revenge appeared first on Eternally Sunny.

Teen Suspended For Speaking Out Gets Some Much-Deserved Revenge

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