Controversy Erupts as High School Student Punished for Using Common, Legal Term During Class

An unfortunate incident unfolded at Central Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina, where a 16-year-old student was unjustly suspended for three days due to his use of the term “illegal alien” during a vocabulary assignment.

The boy, son of Leah McGhee, was given a list of words by his teacher, which included the word “alien.” In an attempt to clarify the meaning of the term, he asked, “Like space aliens or illegal aliens without green cards?”

This innocent question led to an overreaction from the school administration, who deemed it offensive and disrespectful to Hispanic students in the classroom.

According to an email obtained by the Carolina Journal, another student took offense to the question and threatened to fight McGhee’s son. The teacher reported the incident to the assistant principal, resulting in the suspension.

McGhee’s son defended his actions, stating, “I didn’t make a statement directed towards anyone; I asked a question. 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.”

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The school’s decision to label the boy’s actions as “racism” and impose a three-day out-of-school suspension is both misguided and unjust.

The term “illegal alien” is a widely used and legally recognized term, found in news reports and dictionaries alike.

It is not inherently racist or derogatory, but rather a factual description of individuals who enter a country without proper documentation.

Leah McGhee expressed her concern about the potential impact this incident could have on her son’s future, particularly his goal of receiving a track scholarship.

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

The school district’s student handbook outlines restrictions on free speech when it is “obscene, abusive, promoting illegal drug use, or is reasonably expected to cause a substantial disruption to the school day.”

However, it is difficult to argue that the boy’s question falls under any of these categories.

The handbook also mandates that a student be provided with an informal hearing before a short-term suspension is imposed, during which the student has the right to be informed of the charges and make statements in their defense.

The school’s decision to suspend the student for using a legal term in a genuine attempt to understand its meaning is a gross overreach and a violation of his right to free speech and due process.

The school administration’s actions in this case are not only unjust but also detrimental to the student’s academic progress and future prospects.

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The parents should sue and everyone involved should be fired immediately.