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Student hugs teacher: High school senior meant nothing more than a hug

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Student hugs teacher: A 17-year-old Duluth High School student has been expelled from school the rest of the school year for hugging his teacher. WSB-TV2 reports Dec. 17 that Samuel McNair was suspended after footage from the school's security camera was reviewed when he hugged the teacher.

In video, Samuel was seen hugging his teacher, but she pulled away then filed a complaint stating that the high school senior was sexually harassing her. The student said he had hugged her at least four or five other times before that incident and everything seemed fine. With this school suspension enforced, the student and his mother, April McNair, said this will ruin his college plans because he was depending on a football scholarship. They don't view their hugs as harmful because they are a family of huggers, the report said.

This incident in question took place a few weeks ago. It shocked the student who hugged his teacher.

"I was surprised. I'm just like, 'It's a hug.' So I'm like, 'I did this plenty of times before so I don't know what's different this time.' I mean she must have told me to get out. I followed directions and left," Samuel said.

The teacher who received the student's hugs said this last embrace involved his lips touching the back of her neck and on her cheeks. She said that she had told him before that hugs were not appropriate. The student said he meant nothing more by it than a hug and claimed this is the first time the teacher got upset.

"If you had a problem with it before you could have at least told me or filed a report or talked to my mother," Sam questioned.

This is what a written statement from Gwinnett County School District read:

"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-- (are used) when determining consequences. "

Sam and his mother did not deny that Sam was suspended in ninth grade for fighting. As a result he had to finish the rest of the school year at an alternative school. They said he has not been in trouble since being expelled at that time.

The McNairs will appeal the decision after the holidays.

If a student hugs a teacher and the teacher has told them it is inappropriate, the student should respect that and stop doing it. It is not known what really happened in this case, but the security video will be examined very closely to see if there is more to the story than an innocent hug.

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