NC School Suspends Teen for Using Term ‘Illegal Alien,’ Equates It to a Racial Slur


A teenager from North Carolina was suspended after using the term “illegal alien” during a class discussion, with an administrator equating the phrase to “saying the n-word.”

Another student reportedly threatened to “kick [Christian’s] ass” for using the term, leading an assistant principal at the Davidson County school to deem Christian’s remark as a “racially motivated comment which disrupts class.”

However, audio recordings presented in court revealed that when the administrator questioned both boys, the other student laughed and said, “It’s no big deal.”

The justice center filed a preliminary injunction on Tuesday to expunge the suspension from Christian’s school record, presenting concerning communications from administrators and school board members as evidence.

“He swears to me he wasn’t trying to be intentionally rude by asking that, so I talked to him about saying ‘illegal alien’ versus ‘those people that need a green card.’ There’s respectful ways of asking that question and there are very disrespectful ways of asking that question,” the assistant principal, whose name was not disclosed, said in an audio recording.

“I agree that three days out of school is harsh, but it’s a line we drew in August and even though it hurt to give him that because I didn’t want to go there…but we decided that in August,” the administrator continued, comparing the term to a racial slur.

“And if I don’t give him that, then I’m being unfair to the 15 other kids that have served that up until now for saying the n-word or anything else under the sun that’s racially charged that creates a disruption in the classroom,” the administrator added.

“[H]e thought it was funny or at least he laughed about it and said, ‘Oh, it’s no big deal,’ and in the hallway, when I was talking to both boys and Miss Hill, said ‘Those are just words. It’s not a big deal right?’ and I said, ‘No, sir, those words do make a big deal out of this the way they were said and their meaning,’” the administrator said.

The Liberty Justice Center also provided screenshots of messages between school board member Ashley Carroll and “community leaders,” as reported by Fox News.

In one message to a local Jewish community leader, Carroll compared the term “illegal alien” to antisemitism.

“Would you beat a kids ass who was making antisemitism comments,” she wrote.

Carroll also criticized Christian’s mother, Leah McGhee, for trying to get the school board to drop the suspension by sharing a mugshot from an old arrest.

“Here’s the mom’s record if you want to know what kind of person you are dealing with. Didn’t you work hard to get drug dealers off the streets?” Carroll messaged a former law enforcement officer.

According to the family’s lawyers, Christian has been forced to unenroll from the school due to bullying.

“Having been branded as a racist by his school, Christian’s return was met with ostracism, bullying, and threats. Concerned for his safety, his parents unenrolled him and he is now completing the semester through a homeschooling program,” the justice center stated in a statement.

“Although Christian asked a factual, non-threatening question — about a word the class was discussing — the school board branded him with false accusations of racism,” said senior counsel Buck Dougherty. “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.”

“School officials have effectively fabricated a racial incident out of thin air and branded our client as a racist without even giving him an opportunity to appeal. Fortunately, young people do not shed their First Amendment rights at school, and we look forward to vindicating Christian’s rights here,” said Dean McGee, Educational Freedom Attorney at the Liberty Justice Center.

McGee told Fox News, “We think the preliminary injunction will be granted which will clear our client’s record as the case proceeds.”

Olivia Rondeau
Olivia Rondeau
Digital Reporter. Previously, Olivia was a contributor at the Daily Caller, a staff writer at Foundation for Economic Education, and a Pennsylvania Campus Correspondent at Campus Reform. Prior to that, she worked in social media, research, and public relations at Arsenal Media Group. Olivia is a political science major at the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

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