It continues to be my observation that as we move away from the Lord and His way of living, His commands, our society over reacts or over compensates by giving outlandish punishments for minor behavior and under reacts to really bad behavior.
Take 17-year-old Sam McNair of Duluth High School, who was found guilty of violating the school’s rules regarding sexual harassment for a hug that was captured on video by a surveillance camera.
The senior high school student was slated to receive a full athletic scholarship to college and will not graduate on time after being suspended for one year last week as punishment for hugging a teacher in Nov.
The teacher alleges McNair’s lips and cheeks touched the back of her neck, but the student has adamantly denied such allegations.
“I did not,” McNair told KCTV.
“Something so innocent can be perceived as something totally opposite,” he added.
According to the discipline report, the teacher had previously warned McNair hugs were inappropriate, KCTV reported. However, the 17-year-old disputes such claims and his mother doesn’t understand why she was never informed her son’s hugging was problematic.
“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,” April McNair told KCTV.
“I have five months left in my senior year. I don’t see why they would take that away from me,” the teen echoed.
Sloan Roach, a spokesperson for Gwinnett County Public Schools, declined to comment on McNair’s specific case to KCTV, but noted 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.
This overreaction is a result of the normalizing of sexually deviant behavior and a lack of real discipline of smaller issues. Many of the tools used to correct students have been taken away from educators, allowing only a few options for discipline when lines are crossed.