The family of Ahmed Mohamed, who was arrested after a homemade clock he brought to school was mistaken for a bomb, filed a lawsuit Monday.
Remember Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Muslim schoolboy whose homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb, causing his arrest?
Well, his family filed a lawsuit against school officials and others in Texas Monday, saying the incident violated his civil rights, prompted death threats and forced them to leave the United States.
Mohamed was arrested at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, last September after bringing the clock which was made out of a plastic pencil box and hardware salvaged from his parents’ garage in to show his English teacher.
He was swiftly charged with having a hoax bomb.
D Fernandez (@DemondFernandez) September 16, 2015
The charge was later dropped, but Mohamed was still suspended for three days. He never returned to the school.
Mohamed showed the clock to reporters during a news conference Monday.
Ahmed Mohamed aka ‘Clock Boy’ shows off his clock after a press conference addressing his civil law suit pic.twitter.com/b2NRKk0zvC
Eline de Bruijn (@debruijneline) August 8, 2016
The lawsuit names Irving Independent School District, the city of Irving and the school’s principal, and asks a jury to determine the damages. The family demanded $15 million from the city of Irving last November.
District spokeswoman Lesley Weaver said in a statement Monday that attorneys for the district will review the suit and determine a course of action. “Irving ISD continues to deny violating the student’s rights and will respond to claims in accordance with court rules,” she said.
“For the safety of my family, I have to go back to Qatar, because right now it’s not very safe for my family or for anyone who’s a minority.”
The family has since moved to Qatar, citing threats and a scholarship offered to Mohamed out there. He’s due to start 10th grade at Qatar Academy in Doha in September.
“For the safety of my family, I have to go back to Qatar, because right now it’s not very safe for my family or for anyone who’s a minority,” Ahmed said during Monday’s news conference.
While in Texas, Ahmed said, he has to wear a hat, sunglasses and a hoody. “I can’t walk out of the house without being covered up because I might get shot because that happens here,” he said.
His parents, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed and Muna Ibrahim, have not found work in Qatar and so the family of eight is living in government housing and on food vouchers.
Among the claims made in the suit is that the boy’s right to equal protection under the law was violated and that officers arrested him without probable cause. Ahmed was a victim of systemic discrimination by the school district and state Board of Education that has marginalized Muslims and other minority groups, the suit claims.
Mohamed was flooded with support following the incident. Mark Zuckerburg invited him to Facebook HQ, Steve Wozniak called him a “modern day hero,” NASA praised him, and President Barack Obama even invited him to the White House.
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.
President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
The Associated Press contributed reporting.
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