NC High School Student Suspended for Asking About the Word ‘Alien’ on Assignment

by | Apr 17, 2024 | News

Central Davidson High School Actions Deem Illegal Alien as Unacceptable Speech, Not Constitutionally Protected

As reported by  Carolina Journal, a 16-year-old student at Central Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina was suspended for three days last week after using the term ‘illegal alien’ during a vocabulary assignment in his English class.

Leah McGhee, Christian’s mother stated during an interview on The Pete Kaliner Show that her son’s English teacher passed out vocabulary words during class last Tuesday, including the word ‘alien.’ McGhee says her son raised his hand for further clarification, asking the teacher when called upon, “Like space or illegal aliens who need green cards?”

(Below) Image of Christian and Leah McGhee.

Christian and Leah McGhee

According to McGhee’s mother, immediately after the exchange between her son and the teacher, one Hispanic student in the classroom said they took offense and was going to “beat Christian up.”  She further elaborated in the interview:

“The teacher called administration because there was a disturbance in class. Administration came down, spoke with both boys in the hallway to which Christian said, ‘You know, I did not mean this in an offensive way.’ And the other student said he was ‘just joking’ when he says he was going to beat Christian up. So, it was resolved in the hallway.

“The students were dismissed for lunch and then after lunch the assistant principal called the students — met with the student who took offense in class and made the comments toward Christian, and he asked ‘are you sure you are, you didn’t feel this was a racial comment?’”

Christian was called to the administration office later that afternoon where he was written up and given disciplinary action for a racially insensitive comment: illegal aliens need green cards.

Leah McGhee also said Christian brought up the fact that their own family lives in England and they need a green card to come into this country; so, he didn’t understand how the term ‘illegal alien’ was offensively racist.

Both Leah and her husband met with the assistant principal and explained the term ‘illegal alien’ is in the dictionary and used in both federal documents and in news reports.

(Below) Listen to Leah McGhee’s complete interview on The Pete Kaliner Show. The initial 12 minutes feature McGhee’s discussion.

Christian received a three-day out-of-school suspension and was not allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.

On pages 22 and 23, school’s student handbook states:

“…students shall not use profanity, obscenity, fighting or abusive words, or otherwise engage in speech that disrupts (written, symbolic or verbal) and/or materially and substantially disrupts the classroom or other school activities.”

Followed by,

“Nothing herein is intended to limit a student’s right to express his or her thoughts and opinions at reasonable times and places, consistent with the protections of the First Amendment. In general, schools may place restrictions on a student’s right to free speech when the speech is obscene, abusive, promoting illegal drug use, or is reasonably expected to cause a substantial disruption to the school day.”

McGhee’s feel their son being labelled a racist in his permanent record is a disciplinary action gone too far, that it is in fact an extreme action. She said the assistant principal would not overturn his decision.

(Below) A 2022 analysis by Tucker Carlson highlights the prevalent use of the term ‘Illegal Alien’ by media professionals.

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