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16-Year-Old Student Suspended After Using Term “Illegal Alien” in English Class

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’s son has a teacher who assigned vocabulary words during class last Tuesday, including the word ‘alien.’ McGhee says her son made an effort to understand the assignment and responded to his teacher, asking, “Like space aliens or illegal aliens without green cards?”

According to an email describing the incident, sent to local officials and shared with 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. Ultimately, his words were deemed by administrative staff to be offensive and disrespectful to classmates who are Hispanic.

“I didn’t make a statement directed towards anyone; I asked a question,” said the student 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.”

In addition to the three-day suspension, his record could be damaged as he aims to secure an athletic scholarship for college. He is actively involved in school clubs, track, and cross country.

“Because of his question, our son was disciplined and given THREE days OUT of school suspension for ‘racism,’” wrote his mother 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.”

An official at Davidson County Schools said the district could not provide details on a student matter. 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 have propelled school choice forward in North Carolina to give parents and students alternative education options. 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.

  • One says:

    We no longer live in a Constitutional Republic, but under a neo-Marxist regime which not only doesn’t recognize the Constitution, but also rule of law. Therefore, if my government no longer ‘plays by the rules – neither shall I.

    Therefore, (attempty to) violate my 1st Amendment rights, (and censor me, you’ll feel the pain and destruction your body experiences when I exercise my 2nd Amendment rights to uphold my 1st Amendment rights.

    Sidenote: This would not be a normal response to such a violation of 1st Amendment rights. However, (and again) our govenrment no longer recognizes the Constitution NOR rule of law. Thus…

    Lessons Learned: You may succeed in censoring me temporarily. However, (and secondary to your action of violation), my action of violation will be to succeed censor you permanently.

    …again, not a normal reaction, but it does ‘solve’ the problem, (and from continuing).

    Some people will learn the lesson. Others won’t.


  • Henchy says:

    “illegal Alien” is the legal definition under Federal Law and has been for decades, if not centuries. The people responsible for suspending him need to be terminated with zero benefits or tax-payer funded retirement.

  • Sue says:

    Was the upset kid A ILLEGAL ALIEN, Sure hate it that’s what they are ILLEGAL ALIENS.



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