Family of Muslim Teen Arrested Over Homemade Clock Files Lawsuit Against Texas School

By Chika Dunu, Epoch Times
August 8, 2016 3:16 pm Last Updated: August 8, 2016 4:45 pm

The family of a Muslim teen who was detained for bringing a homemade clock to school last year has filed a federal lawsuit against the teen’s former school district.

The lawsuit filed on Aug. 8 argues 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed’s civil rights were violated. The defendants named in the lawsuit are Irving Independent School District; Daniel Cummings, the principal of MacArthur High School; and the city of Irving.

According to the lawsuit, the Irving Independent School District has a history racism and discriminatory practices against Muslims.

“The anti-Muslim sentiment made official policy by the Texas State Board of Education in 2010 and adopted by the IISD Trustees as reflected in their 2012 “investigation” of the curriculum to ferret out pro-Islam textbook references, reflects a bias that permeated IISD and contributed to the unwarranted discipline of Ahmed Mohamed,” states the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also cites a hate message that was left on the voicemail of an Irving Muslim civil rights organization as proof that anti-Muslim sentiments are pervasive in the Texas community.

“This is America. If you don’t like the way we do [expletive] get the [expletive] out. Because let me tell you something, people like me and my other military brothers are [expletive] armed to the teeth and we will meet you on any battleground that you want,” reads the lawsuit.

The filing also states that Mohamed was interrogated by Cummings and police for over an hour without the presence of his parents—a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.  

They family is seeking an unspecified amount in compensatory damages, statutory attorneys’ fees and expenses, and punitive damages against the individual defendants.

Mohamed made headlines in September last year after his teacher mistook his clock for a bomb. News of the incident generated the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed as a form of support for the young boy, including a tweet from President Obama.

“Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great,” tweeted Obama.

Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.

Ahmed accepted the Obama’s invitation and attended Astronomy Night at the White House the following month.

The family no longer lives in Texas and has since moved to Qatar.

The defendants were not available for comment at the time this report went to press.