Student Sues School After Being Suspended For Saying ‘Illegal Alien’

( – The family of a 16-year-old boy suspended from school for using the term “illegal alien” is suing the school district. Christian McGhee was given a three-day suspension from Central Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina, and ultimately left the school after allegedly being bullied and threatened over the incident.

During an English class in April, Christian left the room briefly to visit the bathroom. Upon returning, he found the class discussing an exercise that used the word “alien”. McGhee asked his English teacher whether the word referred to aliens from space or “illegal aliens” who do not have green cards. The teacher is alleged to have told him to “watch [his] mouth” and a Hispanic student jokingly threatened to beat him up.

According to the lawsuit, the Hispanic student later clarified that he had not in fact been upset or offended by Christian’s question. Both students were sent to Assistant Principal Eric Anderson, and the following day Christian was given his suspension. He was also told that he could not join the Senior Night home track meet, despite being a track athlete at the school.

The school’s suspension notice accused Christian of making a “racially motivated comment” and disrupting the class, which his family strongly rejects. His mother, Leah McGhee, pointed out that “illegal alien” does not refer to any particular race. She added that she had raised Christian to reject all forms of racism and accused the school administration of unnecessarily bringing a racial element to proceedings.

Following his suspension, Christian’s family removed him from the school and have instead homeschooled him so that he could complete his semester. They say they chose to do this after he was bullied and threatened at school following his suspension. Their lawsuit alleges that the school administration violated his first and 14th amendment rights, falsely accused him of racism, and used overly harsh punishment. The McGhee family is represented by the Liberty Justice Center, whose senior counsel Buck Dougherty accuses the school of violating the boy’s right to due process and education.

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