NC Teen Seeks Court Order To Clear Record Over ‘Illegal Aliens’ Comment

A preliminary injunction has been filed by a North Carolina teenager and his parents to clear his academic record after he was suspended for saying “illegal aliens” during class. The lawsuit against the Davidson County School District Board of Education, filed on May 7, calls for the removal of the suspension from his record.

Christian McGhee, a 16-year-old student at Central Davidson High School, and his parents, Leah and Chad McGhee, are at the center of this legal battle. The recent filing includes excerpts from a recording where a school administrator compared the term “illegal alien” to “the n-word.” Assistant Principal Eric Anderson suggested Christian should have used the phrase “those people that need a green card” and mentioned the teacher’s difficulties due to her youth and gender.

The McGhees’ legal team also submitted evidence of text messages from Davidson County School Board members, allegedly aimed at disparaging Christian and his family within the community. “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.

The incident that led to the suspension occurred on April 9. Christian raised his hand during class to ask if the teacher’s mention of “aliens” referred to “space aliens or illegal aliens who need green cards?” Dean McGee, an educational freedom attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, explained that a Hispanic classmate jokingly threatened Christian, but there was no real threat. The class continued as normal, and the two students remained friends.

After the class, the teacher reported the incident to school administrators due to the perceived threat, not the language used. Assistant Principal Anderson spoke with the students, and the Hispanic student confirmed he was joking and was not offended. Despite this, Anderson issued a suspension to Christian and commented on his low Spanish grade despite his heritage.

The McGhees are requesting that the court order the removal of the suspension from Christian’s record, arguing that the school’s actions were unfounded and violated his rights. “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,” Dougherty stated.

The case continues to draw attention as it raises important questions about free speech, due process, and the handling of disciplinary actions in schools.