MONROE, Ga. — Students in the upper school at George Walton Academy will do digital learning for the next two weeks due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

In a letter to students and their families Wednesday, Head of School Dan Dolan wrote that 13 students in the high school grades at GWA had COVID-19 and nearly 60 were in quarantine for exposure.

He blamed “an unfortunate meeting of bravado and carelessness.”

Dolan noted there were no similar outbreaks in the lower grades, and those students will remain on campus. However, high school students will participate in digital days starting Monday. Homecoming has been moved to Nov. 9-13.

The headmaster said poor choices were at fault.

“I have heard story after story about isolated and quarantined kids piling into a van and going to a party in Atlanta, dining in downtown Monroe or at Moe’s, or even posting a video on social media burning a mask and complaining about China taking their freedom,” Dolan wrote. “I’ve heard about other students sharing food and drinks.

“Those choices unfairly put others in harm’s way. Teachers are being stretched to provide both in-class and online learning for those who are quarantined.”

Dolan noted three members of the GWA softball team, which is ranked No. 1 in the state among Class A (Private) schools by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has had three players in quarantine, and he said the band and volleyball seasons also are in jeopardy.

The football team’s game against Union County on Sept. 25 was canceled due to the opponent having positive tests for COVID-19. GWA scrambled to find a last-minute opponent, then had to cancel due to its own positive tests.

The Bulldogs also had to postpone Friday night’s game against Hebron Christian.

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