Muslim teen, arrested last year over clock, sues Texas school district
The family of a Muslim boy, who was arrested last year after taking a homemade digital clock to a Dallas area high school, sued the Texas school district and the city where he once lived on Monday, saying they violated the teenager’s civil rights.
The suit, filed in federal court on behalf of Ahmed Mohamed by his father, claims the Irving Independent School District and the city west of Dallas had discriminated against the teen because of his religion, which it said was a factor in his arrest.
The school district was not immediately available for comment.
The family has previously demanded $15 million from the city of Irving and the school district.
The 2015 arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, then a 14-year-old bespectacled ninth-grader who dabbled in robotics and attended high school in Irving, had ignited a social media firestorm.
Irving police accused him of making a hoax bomb.
After Mohamed was seen in a NASA T-shirt in handcuffs, the Twitter hashtag #IStandWithAhmed trended globally, and the teenager was praised by Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who said: “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest.”
A few months after the incident, Ahmed and his family moved to Qatar after the teen has accepted an offer from the Qatar Foundation to study at its Young Innovators Program. The announcement of the move came a few hours after Ahmed visited the White House for an astronomy night hosted by President Barack Obama.
The teen returned to the United States a few weeks ago for summer vacation and told the Dallas Morning News in an exclusive interview that he missed his friends in Texas and the diversity of the United States.
“I just want to invent,” he told the paper. “I want to help the world a lot, and it would be amazing to see my creations in action.”
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)