North Carolina teen PUNISHED for asking about the term “illegal aliens” in class

 A North Carolina high school student is in the middle of a lawsuit after he was suspended following a classroom incident involving the use of the phrase "illegal aliens" in front of a Hispanic classmate.

On April 9, Christian McGhee, a 16-year-old student from Central Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina, asked his English teacher if the term "aliens" referred to "space alliance or illegal aliens who need green cards?"

A classmate of Hispanic heritage jokingly responded with a threat, which McGhee's lawyers contend was not taken seriously by either party.  

"Christian asked his question," said Dean McGhee, 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. McGhee added that after the dialogue the class continued as usual without any sign of a real conflict.

However, the teacher reported the interaction to school administrators, not for the words used but for the perceived threat.

Assistant Principal Eric Anderson, in a conversation with Leah McGhee, Christian's mother, equated her son's use of "illegal aliens" to the use of a racial slur. Anderson also discussed the incident with the students involved, with the Hispanic student clarifying that his comment was a joke and that he was not offended. But Christian still received a three-day suspension and was barred from participating in a track meet, without an option to appeal. 

In response to the disciplinary measures, McGhee and his parents, Leah and Chad McGhee, filed a lawsuit against the Davidson County School District Board of Education on May 7.

The plaintiffs argue that Christian's rights to free speech, education and due process have been violated by unfairly suspending and injecting race into a question of clarification from an English teacher. In turn, they seek to have his academic record cleared and the suspension reversed.

Moreover, the McGhee family, along with the legal organization the Liberty Justice Center and Raleigh-area lawyers Troy Shelton and Craig Schauer, requested a preliminary injunction on June 4 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The lawsuit aims to ensure Christian's record is cleared to prevent any negative impact on his future opportunities, such as college admissions and scholarships. But the injunction is still pending.

Christian labeled as racist and ostracized for asking a simple question

According to Christian's parents, Christian was labeled a racist and ostracized and bullied by his peers while receiving threats following his return to school after his short suspension.

"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. It appears that this administration would rather destroy its own reputation and the reputation of my son rather than admit they made a mistake," Leah said in a statement released by the Liberty Justice Center.

This, in turn, led to Christian's withdrawal from school and his homeschooling for the remainder of the academic year.

"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. 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," said Buck Dougherty, a senior counsel at Liberty Justice Center.

"It impacts, every student in the country, and their right to speak without fear of aggressive retaliation from their administration. In this case, our client, in the context of the conversation, asked a question that on its face was racially neutral. It was earnest in the class discussion. From there, the administration fabricated a racial incident and had the audacity to tell a Hispanic student who said he was not offended that he should have been offended. We want to make sure this doesn't happen again."

North Carolina teen PUNISHED for asking about the term “illegal aliens” in class North Carolina teen PUNISHED for asking about the term “illegal aliens” in class Reviewed by Your Destination on July 09, 2024 Rating: 5

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