According to a CBS Atlanta affiliate, a Duluth High School senior has been suspended for one year and won’t graduate on time for hugging a teacher last month. According to a discipline report, the teacher alleged that the student’s cheeks and lips touched the back of her neck and cheek. The teacher in question also alleges that she had warned the student on a previous occasion that such actions were inappropriate. However, Sam McNair, 17, denies ever being warned about such behavior; and, he claims that he never kissed his lips never touched his teacher’s neck and cheek.
This from CBS Atlanta:
A Duluth High School senior has been suspended for one year and won’t graduate on time for hugging a teacher last month.
Sam McNair, 17, was suspended last week when a school hearing officer found he violated the Gwinnett County Public Schools’ rules on sexual harassment.
“Something so innocent can be perceived as something totally opposite,” said McNair.
A video of the hug, captured by a surveillance camera, shows McNair enter a room, place his arms around the back and front of the teacher and tuck his head behind her neck.
According to a discipline report, the teacher alleged McNair’s cheeks and lips touched the back of her neck and cheek.
McNair denied he kissed his teacher or sexually harassed her.
McNair said he regularly hugs his teachers and has never been disciplined for it in the past.
According to the discipline report, the teacher alleged she warned McNair that hugs were inappropriate but he disputes that.
April McNair, Sam’s mother, said she was dumbfounded when she was informed of the suspension and believes the district had a responsibility to notify her if her son’s hugging was becoming problematic before it suspended him and derailed his college plans.
“He’s a senior. He plays football and was getting ready for lacrosse and you’re stripping him of even getting a full scholarship for athletics for college,” said April McNair.
Watch the video:
I don’t know about this one, folks; I don’t see the actions of this student as an act of sexual harassment. Of course I don’t know this kid personally, but I doubt whether the surveillance video shows him literally attempting to slob the neck of his teacher. What could be seen on the video, however, was that the teacher in question was upset and clearly shoved him away. Now, I’m not saying that his lips never touched the back of her neck. For all I know, his lips may have done just that
If it did, I believe it may have been inadvertent. But of course it was not viewed that way by officials in this case and I think it sucks. because the kid was never given the benefit of the doubt It also sucks because in my opinion, the punishment hardly fits the crime of, well, being affectionate towards a teacher. But hey, maybe young black men should stick to being the violent thugs that they’re often perceived. At least this way if one of them tries to hug a teacher they can be charged with rape.
The teacher in this case may not be the touchy-feely-type and that’s perfectly fine. Yes, the fact that she is white and the student being black doesn’t mean much to me. Professionalism and not wanting to give the impression that you’re willing to fulfill the boyhood sexual fantasies of a young black teenager aside. I understand that there is a certain code of conduct that should be encouraged and enforced. In this case, however, this is wrong on many levels. If anything, this kid was suspended for a year simply because he was unluckily a black student in the state of Georgia.