Petition established for Duluth High student suspended for hugging teacher

Community support has rallied around a Duluth High senior who has been disciplined after he allegedly hugged a teacher in November.

A petition has been established at change.org where there are more than 600 signatures for Sam McNair, who was reportedly suspended for the rest of the school year following the incident. Gwinnett County Public Schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach said an impartial hearing officer heard the case on Dec. 3 after the school filed a report.

In a statement, Roach said, “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 when determining consequences. If a parent has concerns about the outcome of a panel, he or she is entitled to appeal the decision to the Gwinnett County Board of Education.”

Roach said an appeal has not yet been scheduled, but the parents have 20 days from the panel to request an appeal.

The petition asks the district to, “Overturn and revisit the yearlong suspension of Sam McNair for hugging a teacher,” and adds that, “This is an extreme punishment that potentially derails college plans for this young man. The punishment does not fit the violation.”

Attempts to reach the student’s mother were not successful.

View surveillance video of the hug in this CBS Atlanta report: