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North Carolina High School Student Suspended for Using Term ‘Illegal Alien’ in English Class

'Like space aliens or illegal aliens without green cards?' the student had asked.

North Carolina High School Student Suspended for Using Term ‘Illegal Alien’ in English Class

A North Carolina high school student was suspended for using the term "illegal alien" while asking a question in English class.

The 16-year-old, whose name has not been publicly released, was suspended from Central Davidson High School in Lexington for three days after asking his teacher to clarify which meaning of the vocabulary word "alien" she was asking students to write about.

To understand the assignment, the student asked, “Like space aliens or illegal aliens without green cards?”

According to a report from the Carolina Journal, another student took offense to the question and threatened to fight the student. The teacher called in the assistant principal to de-escalate the situation, and it was ultimately decided that the student's question was "offensive" and "disrespectful" to Hispanic students.

“I didn’t make a statement directed towards anyone; I asked a question,” the student told the paper. “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.”

“Because of his question, our son was disciplined and given THREE days OUT of school suspension for ‘racism,’” his mother, Leah McGhee, added. “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.”

Republican State Senator Steve Jarvis told the Journal that he has contacted the state's superintendent about the issue.

The newspaper noted, "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."

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

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