Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A student was suspended for hugging his teacher

(photo from

This is a very strange story.  A 17 year old boy gave his teacher a hug and she claimed that it was a form of sexual harassment.  A hug is when you put your arms around a person; harassment is when you do something aggressively to bother or emotionally harm someone.  So sexual harassment is when you approach a person in an aggressively sexual manner.

You can see the video from the link below.  It does not look like 'sexual harassment.' It looks like a hug. Nevertheless, the student was suspended from school for one year because he was found guilty of committing sexual harassment. To be suspended means that he will not be allowed to attend school for one year - a suspension is a type of punishment.

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

Ga. student - the student lives in the American state of Georgia.

a hearing officer - this was a person from the school who listened to details about what happened and who made the decision that the student was guilty of (committed) sexual harassment. A hearing is a process in which someone or a group of people listens to evidence about something "wrong" that supposedly happened.

a surveillance camera - a video camera that records what happens in a space

tucking his head - placing his head (do not worry too much about the exact meaning of 'tucking' - it is rarely used as it is used in this sentence: usually a parent will tuck a child into bed - that means the parent will cover the child with a blanket.  Or if your shirt is not inside your pants, you will tuck your shirt into your pants.)

alleged - claimed, stated

a discipline report - a report claiming something wrong happened and requesting punishment

inappropriate - not right

to jeopardize his college plans - to destroy or ruin his plans for college

a senior - he's in his fourth year of high school.  1st = freshman, 2nd = sophomore, 3rd = junior.

lacrosse - another type of sport that is played in American high schools and colleges but probably not anywhere else.

stripping him of getting a scholarship - taking a scholarship away from him.  The mother is worried that a college will not take her son if he has been found guilty of sexual harassment and she is worried that he will also lose his chance to receive a scholarship from a college to play a sport.  In America, many young people can get into college for free if they are very good at a type of sport.  They play for their college sport's team and help the school make money.

witness testimony - what people who saw what happened might say

to appeal the decision - to go to someone higher than the hearing officer and ask that the decision be reversed or changed to not-guilty.

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