July 14, 2024
Injunction Seeks to Clear Record of N.C. Teen Suspended for Saying ‘Illegal Alien’

Injunction Seeks to Clear Record of N.C. Teen Suspended for Saying ‘Illegal Alien’

() In a preliminary injunction filed Tuesday, lawyers for a North Carolina teen sought to have school officials clear his academic record for saying “illegal aliens” in a classroom setting .

Christian McGhee, a 16-year-old at former student at Central Davidson High in Lexington (who is now homeschooled), and his parents Leah and Chad McGhee, sued the Davidson County School District Board of Education.

The lawsuit filed May 7 seeks full clearance and removal of the mark on the student’s record, and Tuesday’s filing asks the court to order the school to reverse the suspension.

The newest action also introduces excerpts of a recording involving a school administrator, who equated the phrase “illegal alien” to “the n-word”—despite the fact that the former term is regulalry used in legal statutes to define noncitizens residing in a country.

At the time its usage, the word alien was being introduced as a vocabulary word in an English lesson, suggesting that the curriculum itself was at issue if the word is considered a pejorative.

Also in the recording, Assistant Principal Eric Anderson told Leah McGhee her son should have said “those people that need a green card.”

Anderson described the teacher by using the word “struggled,” and said it was because of “being so young and female.”

Lawyers also submitted evidence in the form of texts made by Davidson County School Board members they say were sent to members of the community “in an effort to malign Christian and his family,” a release says.

“The Davidson County School Board has not only invented a racial incident out of thin air, but then gone on to violate a student’s rights to free speech and due process to punish him for that invented incident,” said Buck Dougherty, senior counsel at the Liberty Justice Center.

“What we have here is an administration that refuses to admit its wrongdoing, and a kid caught in the crossfire,” he added. “We are proud to stand with Christian and his family, and urge the court to order the removal of this wrongful suspension from Christian’s record.”

The situation unfolded in class on April 9, when the sophomore raised his hand and asked if the teacher’s reference to “aliens” referred to “space aliens, or illegal aliens who need green cards?”

“Christian asked his question,” said Dean McGee, educational freedom attorney at the Liberty Justice Center. “A boy in his class, of Hispanic heritage, jokingly said ‘Hey, I’m going to kick your …’” and used an expletive.

McGee said class continued in usual fashion, that the two teens are friends and there was “no legitimate threat of a fight.”

The teacher, afterward, called in administrators regarding not the use of the words, but the appearance of a threat. Anderson, McGee said, talked to the teens.

“The kid said he was joking” about a fight, and that “he was not offended,” McGee said. “He said it was no big deal.”

In addition to telling the student he should have been offended, McGee said Anderson gave the student a suspension in school of less than one day and remarked about his Spanish grade being low despite his heritage.

Despite the ordeal, the case has since thrust the McGhee family into the national limelight, with prominent conservative media outlets such as Fox News and Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV eager to share their story.

In a recent message to Headline USA, Leah McGhee said it had been “an exhausting and extremely emotional 6 weeks but God is faithful.”

During an April rally in North Carolina, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump—who, like Christian, has been unjustly targeted for abuse and harassment by those in positions of power and authority—met with the family and offered the teen a letter of recommendation.

President Trump's letter to Christian McGheePresident Trump’s letter to Christian McGhee / PHOTO: Courtesy of Leah McGhee

“President Trump was so kind in writing Christian a letter of recommendation for school and work opportunities,” Leah McGhee wrote.

“He has been extremely supportive and encouraging all while walking through his own struggle of his past being used against him,” she added. “He is the real deal and he TRULY CARES about our children and all families of America. We are so grateful for him.”

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