'Teacher Hugger' graduates from high school, holds no grudges - CBS46 News

'Teacher Hugger' graduates from high school, holds no grudges

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DULUTH, GA (CBS46) -

Despite a year suspension for hugging a teacher, a former Duluth High School student has graduated and plans to attend college in Virginia this fall. 

Sam McNair, 18, made national headlines in December after CBS46 reported on the punishment McNair and his mom, April, thought was too severe. 

Despite the suspension, Sam McNair told CBS46 reporter Jeff Chirico that he holds no grudges against Duluth High School and Gwinnett County School District officials. 

"I actually thank them for doing that. It put me on the right track," said Sam McNair.

A former football and lacrosse player at Duluth, Sam McNair said he had expected to attend college on an athletic scholarship, but the suspension disrupted those plans and kept schools from offering him money.

After Sam and April McNair appealed the school's decision in January, the Gwinnett County Board of Education permitted Sam McNair to finish high school in an online program but wouldn't allow him to graduate with his class.

"It's all right though," said Sam McNair. "I know God has bigger plans for me."

Sam McNair said he plans to attend Liberty University as an industrial engineering major this fall. 

Sam McNair said he expects the private, Christian university will offer him the support he needs to focus on his studies.

"Everything happened for a reason. So this probably put me on a path for success later on," said Sam McNair.

Sam McNair appealed the Gwinnett County school board's decision to the state board of education in an attempt to have his record cleared of the suspension.

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