North Carolina High School Student Suspended Over Use Of “Illegal Alien”

A 16-year-old High School student in North Carolina was suspended for three days after using the term “illegal alien” – a legal term of art, during a vocabulary assignment in his English class.

Leah McGhee, the boy’s mother, says her son was assigned vocabulary words during class last Tuesday, which included the word ‘alien,’ the Carolina Journal reports. When her son asked; “Like space aliens or illegal aliens without green cards?” – another student in the class took offense and threatened to kick his ass, prompting the teacher to call in the assistant principal.

School administrators at Central Davidson High School in Lexington deemed his words ‘offensive and disrespectful to classmates who are hispanic,’ according to the report.

“I didn’t make a statement directed towards anyone; I asked a question,” the suspended boy said in response to his suspension. “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.”

According to the report, the boy’s record could now be damaged as he aims to secure an academic scholarship for collage. He currently participates in school clubs, track, and cross country.

“Because of his question, our son was disciplined and given THREE days OUT of school suspension for ‘racism,’” his mother wrote in an email shared with the Journal. “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.”

Leah said the assistant principal has so far refused to remove the infraction from her son’s record. The family is working with an attorney to remedy the situation so it doesn’t harm his future, and they expect more developments in the days ahead.

Meanwhile, State Senator Steve Jarvis, R-Davidson, said he contacted the school district’s superintendent to make him aware of the situation. Jarvis told the Carolina Journal that while he informed top officials of the issue and urged officials to look for the best outcome, he did not take a stance on what they should do because he wasn’t there to understand all sides of the story. -Carolina Journal

“I do not see that that would be an offensive statement, just in getting clarification,” said Sen. Jarvis. “But there again, I don’t know. I don’t know the situation of this particular incident.”

Seems fairly clear, no?

In a statement to Newsweek, the high school said: “Please know that Davidson County Schools administrators take all discipline incidents seriously and investigate each one thoroughly,” adding “Any violation of the code of conduct is handled appropriately by administrators.”

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