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Student Sues School Board After Suspension for Using the Term ‘Illegal Alien’

A North Carolina teenager who was suspended from class for three days last month for using the term “illegal aliens” is suing his school district for violating his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Christian McGhee, 16, is a sophomore at Central Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina.

The Liberty Justice Center, a non-profit litigation firm with a commitment to constitutional freedom, announced Tuesday it is suing McGhee’s school district for sending him home.

The group said in a news release that on April 9, the teen was involved in a classroom discussion when his teacher used the word “alien.”

The teen asked the teacher to clarify if she was referring to “space aliens, or illegal aliens who need green cards?”

The Liberty Justice Center said the question caused no disruption in class, but administrators made a decision to suspend McGhee for three days for a “vicious racial slur.”

On Tuesday, the group announced it was suing the Davidson County Board of Education on behalf of the teen.

“Having been branded as a racist by his school, Christian’s return [to class] was met with ostracism, bullying, and threats. Concerned for his safety, his parents unenrolled him, and he is now completing the semester through a homeschooling program,” the Liberty Justice Center said in its release announcing the lawsuit.

Buck Dougherty, an attorney with the firm, said that by suspending McGhee, the school board violated his rights to free speech and due process.

McGhee was not allowed to appeal the suspension.

“Even though Christian asked a factual, non-threatening question — about a word the class was discussing — the school board branded him with false accusations of racism,” Dougherty said.

He concluded, “The school has not only violated his constitutional right to free speech, but also his right to due process and his right to access education, a guaranteed right under North Carolina law. We are proud to stand beside Christian and his family in challenging this egregious violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”

Another attorney with the litigation firm said the lawsuit is about ensuring school districts understand that their rights to free speech apply when they are in class.

Dean McGee with the Liberty Justice Center said, “School officials have effectively fabricated a racial incident out of thin air and branded our client as a racist without even giving him an opportunity to appeal.”

Leah McGhee, the mother of the teen, also defended her son in the statement released by the group.

“I have raised our son to reject racism in all its forms, but it is the school, not Christian, that injected race into this incident,” Leah McGhee said. “It appears that this administration would rather destroy its own reputation and the reputation of my son rather than admit they made a mistake.”

The lawsuit is asking a court to recognize that the Davidson County Board of Education had no standing to suspend the teen.

The suit is also asking for Christian McGhee’s suspension to be removed from his academic record.

READ 38 COMMENTS
  • One says:

    Unfortunately, this young man is going to learn the new definition of JUST US – and it doesn’t include him. These days, taking something as obvious as this violation of the 1st Amendment to a court is nothing less than an exercise in futility. He’s the one who may end up in jail. All he has to do is be a big enough pain-in-the-ass, and they’ll arrest him on false charges. No, he needs to take care of business the way it’s supposed to be taken care of – swiftly and permanently. You find those who were responsible for the negative consequences you experienced, and you give them a ‘hospital job’. Usually, it only takes one. If they threaten or attempt to take you to court for assault and battery – you beat them again…and again, and again, and again, until they realize the ‘error of their ways’.
    When schoolyard/grade school bullies are allowed to be bullies, they become adult bullies. They join school boards and police departments. They run for elected offices. They can be taken care of just like everyone else. They were just never dealt w/ (early on) as they should have been.

  • david L dempsey says:

    The word illegal knows no race.

  • Auntie Vyris® says:

    Good-looking kid from a nice middle-class American family. He’s tough and smart and he’s exactly the kind of person the Establishment wants to abuse.

  • Russian says:

    I’ve never heard of existence such RACE,- ILEGAL ALIEN. Is it some new race?

  • Dorothy says:

    What did he say that was wrong. He is spot on about Illegal Aliens in our country. What does that have to do with racism. I hope he sues their asses off for trying to silence free speech. We have open borders and our Citizens are being targeted. Have to get these Democrats out of office now.

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