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Georgia student hugs teacher, is suspended for sexual harassment

Julianne Cassidy

Georgia student hugs teacher, is suspended for sexual harassment

Julianne Cassidy
CREATED Dec. 16, 2013

 

DULUTH, Ga. -- While visions of prom and graduation dance in most high school seniors' heads after holiday break, 17-year-old Sam McNair, of Duluth High School, will be experiencing nothing short of a nightmare.

Raised by a proclaimed "family of huggers," McNair and his mother, April, are "dumbfounded" after hugging one of his teachers cost McNair a year-long suspension. They are currently planning an appeal in front of the school board.

With a checkered discipline record, including previous suspensions, this is the first sexual harassment accusation for McNair. Time reports, "Surveillance video shows McNair entering a room, coming up behind the teacher, wrapping his arms around her and tucking his head onto her shoulder. The teacher claimed McNair's lips touched her, but McNair denies any such contact and the allegations of sexual harassment." This teacher has allegedly also asked McNair not to hug her in the past.

Gwinnett County Public Schools suspended McNair for violating its sexual harassment policy, which states in its Student/Parent Handbook, "'Harassment' also includes: sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, unwelcome or offensive touching, and other verbal, graphic, or physical conduct of sexual nature."

April McNair told CBS Atlanta that her son, "plays football and was getting ready for lacrosse, and you're stripping him of even getting the opportunity of a full scholarship for athletics for college." McNair will now not graduate on time.

"You never know what someone's going through, you know?" says McNair. "A hug might help."

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