The teacher/student relationship has been a problematic issue in schools nationwide as of late, but for Sam McNair, a 17-year-old Georgia high schooler, a simple act of affection has altered his life forever.
McNair was suspended for a full fiscal year for giving a teacher a hug. The act was caught on Duluth High School’s surveillance camera and shows the teacher pushing him away after the seemingly harmless gesture was committed. She claimed that the contact was definitely inappropriate.
According to a discipline report obtained by WGCL, the teacher said Sam’s lips and cheeks touched her neck and that she had warned Sam about hugging in the past.
Asked if he kissed the teacher, Sam told the television reporter he did not. He said he has hugged teachers many times before, including this teacher, and has never been warned.
In a statement, Sloan Roach, a spokesperson for the Gwinnett County Public Schools, told CNN, “Hearing officers consider witness testimony, a review of the known facts, and a student’s past disciplinary history — including long-term suspensions that result in alternative school placement — when determining consequences.”
The suspension is not the extent of the young senior’s worries. As a lacrosse and football star, the predicament jeopardizes his chances to get athletic scholarships to school.
“It just threw everything off. Without a high school diploma and being able to graduation on time, I won’t be able to receive these scholarships,” McNair told CNN. His mother also shared the same sentiment, saying “For them to just blindside us like this and say ‘sexual harassment’ and the video doesn’t show that, is just a little bit unfair for the punishment he’s received.”
Have a look for yourself at the photos that captured the hug. Was it indeed sexual harassment or did he get a raw deal? Sound off in the comment section, people.
Photo: CNN, CBS Atlanta