High School Student in North Carolina Suspended For Three Days For Using the Term ‘Illegal Alien’

A 16-year-old high student 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.

Central Davidson High School student Christian McGhee had reportedly questioned the usage of the word “alien,” asking his teacher: “Like space aliens or illegal aliens without green cards?”

According to an email from the boys family describing the incident, obtained by the Carolina Journal, “a young man in class took offense to his question and reportedly threatened to fight him, prompting the teacher to call in the assistant principal.”

The school’s administrative staff ultimately deemed the term—which, until the Biden administration was commonly used throughout the U.S. government— to be offensive and disrespectful to classmates who are Hispanic.

“I didn’t make a statement directed towards anyone; I asked a question,”  McGhee said in response to his suspension. “I wasn’t speaking of Hispanics because everyone from other countries needs green cards, and the term ‘illegal alien’ is an actual term that I hear on the news and can find in the dictionary.”

The McGhees now worry that in addition to the three-day suspension, his school record could be negatively affected as he endeavors to secure an athletic scholarship for college.  The teen is reportedly involved multiple school activities, including clubs, track, and cross country.

“Because of his question, our son was disciplined and given THREE days OUT of school suspension for ‘racism,’” his mother, Leah McGhee, wrote in the email. “He is devastated and concerned that the racism label on his school record will harm his future goal of receiving a track scholarship. We are concerned that he will fall behind in his classes due to being absent for three consecutive days.”

Leah said the assistant principal has so far refused to remove the infraction from her son’s record. The family is working with an attorney to remedy the situation so it doesn’t harm his future, and they expect more developments in the days ahead.

Meanwhile, State Senator Steve Jarvis, R-Davidson, said he contacted the school district’s superintendent to make him aware of the situation. Jarvis told the Carolina Journal that while he informed top officials of the issue and urged officials to look for the best outcome, he did not take a stance on what they should do because he wasn’t there to understand all sides of the story.

“I do not see that that would be an offensive statement, just in getting clarification,” said Jarvis. “But there again, I don’t know. I don’t know the situation of this particular incident.”

Officials at Davidson County Schools said they couldn’t comment on a student matter. However, the student handbook says that “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.”

State legislators in North Carolina have reportedly passed school choice legislation to give parents and students alternatives to the public school system.

According to the Carolina Journal, “more than 72,000 applications flooded the Opportunity Scholarship program this February in record-breaking demand, and additional funds will likely expand the program’s budget due to the surging demand.”



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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Notable Replies

  1. Was the student who wanted to fight him likewise suspended?

  2. Thank the Supreme Court of the United States’ Pleyler decision for this. It’s been expanded beyond all recognition from a few days of attending public school until deported, to K-12 free edjumacation and a full-ride “scholarship” to the state university!

    This insidious ruling, which is every bit as damaging to the country and its people as Roe, will apparently remain in place until every single American citizen is replaced by the dreck of the world. No homeowner should have his equity robbed to pay for this nonsense!

  3. Based on reporting of the situation, the teacher brought in an administrator not because of the (“offensive”) question but because of the fighting words of the other student who was “triggered” and has been taught that offensive language is not protected free speech. Obviously, this is the student who should face consequences if any. I hope these parents are able to sue the heck out of this school district. Regarding the student’s scholarship potential, I understand the concen. In 2003, my son was a junior in HS. He was a very intelligent conservative who spoke his mind regarding the social issues of that time. A group of teachers who disliked him sanctioned him by banning him from national honor society. He applied widely to many top schools and was accepted at Princeton (Stanford, Columbia and others) which has an explicit honor code. Admittedly, times have changed. But we had the last laugh.

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