A high school senior in the suburbs of Atlanta has been suspended for an entire year for hugging a teacher.
As an obvious consequence, the student, Sam McNair, won’t graduate on time.
The incident leading to the suspension occurred in November. McNair, 17, went into a room, put his arms around a teacher and gave her a big bear hug and tucking his head into her neck, reports CBS News.
The unidentified teacher then wrote McNair up, alleging that the senior touched both her neck and her cheek with his lips.
A surveillance camera caught the incident on video.
McNair denies that he kissed the teacher. He denied that he had any sexual intent. He also observed that he has hugged other teachers and this one on many previous occasions without any repercussions—let alone a yearlong suspension.
“Something so innocent can be perceived as something totally opposite,” he told local CBS affiliate WGCL.
A hearing officer at Duluth High School disagreed, finding McNair in violation of the sexual harassment policy adopted by the Gwinnett County Public Schools.
McNair’s mother, April McNair, told WGCL that the result is outrageous and will likely put her son’s plans for college at risk.
“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,” she told the station.
The teenager’s mother suggested that her son should have been put on notice if his hugging habit was a problem and would lead to such a draconian punishment.
A school district representative offered no comment on the specifics of McNair’s case.
McNair has been suspended in the past, though sexual harassment has never been an issue.
The last time The Daily Caller checked in on the Gwinnett County school district, it was because teachers were handing out straight A’s in several courses, including algebra, biology and world history to a severely disabled student with the mental capacity of a six-month-old.
The disabled student’s father suggested that the grading policy teachers used for his son was a sham meant to enhance the overall statistics of the school district. (RELATED: Father says his severely disabled 18-year-old son’s high grades are a sham)