24209980_BG1Sam McNair, 17, is in the middle of his senior year at high school. McNair is a student athlete who plays football and lacrosse. Unfortunately, McNair’s senior year has been cut short because of a hug.

Last month, McNair entered his class room and gave his female teacher a hug. But according to Gwinnett County, Georgia he violated the public school’s rules on sexual harassment.  

“Something so innocent can be perceived as something totally opposite,” said McNair.

A video of the hug, shows McNair enter a room, place his arms around the back and front of the teacher and tuck his head behind her neck. But the teacher involved alleges that McNair’s cheeks and lips touched the back of her neck and cheek.

wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina |

McNair denied he kissed his teacher or sexually harassed her and also says 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.

Sloan Roach, a spokesperson for Gwinnett County Public Schools,said in a statement that “hearing officers consider witness testimony, a review of the known facts, and a student’s past disciplinary history…when determining consequences.”

Sam McNair does have a discipline record and previous suspensions but not for sexual harassment and he does not believe he should be punished for showing affection.

“You know what someone’s going through. A hug might help,” said Sam McNair.

A Change.org petition was created to help get the school overturn their decision: https://www.change.org/petitions/gwinnett-county-public-schools-overturn-and-revisit-sam-mcnair-s-yearlong-suspension-for-hugging-a-teacher


Clutchettes, what do you think about the suspension? Do you feel it’s too harsh?

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  • noirluv45

    Do not get me wrong, what this young man did was inappropriate, but I believe the punishment DOES NOT fit the crime. Was he wrong for violating this teacher with an unwanted hug or kiss like she claimed? YES it was, so punish him, but not with a year-long suspension from school.

    I believe many punishments could’ve been handed down to get the message across that you do not give unwanted attention and invade people’s space.

  • Co.

    I was rooting for him until I saw the video.
    It’s pretty common to see African American people hugging children, although it may seem inappropriate for the setting. I’ve seen it happen plenty of times in high school, but in an appropriate manner. There are so many rules in schools now, that it can take something as uplifting as a hug and turn it into sexual harassment. Some students need hugs! They might not receive them at home, or maybe they just need that one extra person that expresses a loving dedication to them.

    I’m no detective, but the mannerisms of the boy on the video and the one who’s talking is completely different. Yes, he went in for the hug and the teacher accepted, but as he put his head behind her neck you can see her disdain. Not only that, if you hugged your teacher and all of a sudden she pushes you off like that… would you walk away or question her actions? The way he walked away, with a bit of a smirk, makes me believe he knew exactly what he had done.

  • Trippy

    A year suspension is at 17 is better than prison at 18.