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“Clock Boy” Civil Rights Lawsuit Thrown Out
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Ahmed Mohamed

Summary: The family of the Irving teenager who brought a homemade clock to school that was mistaken as a possible bomb had filed a civil rights lawsuit against the school district and city.

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher. However an alarm on the clock went off during English class, resulting in him being sent to the office and the clock confiscated as a possible bomb. His family filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Irving and Irving School District for discriminating against the boy, aka “Clock Boy, based on his religion.

  
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A federal court has tossed the lawsuit, stating that the family did not provide any evidence to support discrimination against the boy because of his religion. The school and city denied any violations to his rights or discrimination because of his religion. The judge agreed, stating, “Plaintiff does not allege any facts from which this court can reasonably infer that any IISD employee intentionally discriminated against Ahmed Mohamed based on his race or religion.”

Mohamed attended MacArthur High School in 2015 when he brought the clock to school. His attorney argued that “A.M. never stated the device was anything other than a clock, never threatened anyone with harm, never claimed to have made a bomb, and never attempted to scare or cause alarm to anyone. When he asked for his parents, he was told that he could not speak with them because he was in the middle of an interrogation.” His attorney said this was a violation of his civil rights. He was interrogated without his parents and arrested on hoax bomb charges.

Mohamed’s father arrived at the school several hours later and tried to explain what the clock was. He told “Officer Howman that A.M. was interested in robotics and created things.” He claims she was unwilling to listen. Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd explained that “It was a very suspicious device. We live in an age where you can’t take things like that to school. Of course we’ve seen across our country horrific things happen. We have to err on the side of caution.”

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The charges against the boy were dropped once they gathered more evidence but he was still suspended from school for three days. The family has until June 1 to provide additional information to support discrimination otherwise the case will be closed. They were seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages plus attorney fees.

When Mohamed’s story hit social media, it spread to the White House where he was invited to meet President Obama. He was also invited to participate in Google’s science fair and was included on the “Most Influential Teens of 2015” list by Time. He received a scholarship to a school in Qatar where the family eventually moved.



The family’s attorney Susan Hutchison said, “We hear over and over again about how great this has been for Ahmed because he got to meet the president and got to meet some famous people. Those things have lasted five minutes. Moving his whole family, losing their home here, the constant barrage of horrible, hateful, mean, terrible things that people are saying to this little boy…he has to endure that all day, every day.”

Do you think the school discriminated against the boy? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about the case, read these articles:

Photo: reddit.com



 

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