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Family Of Ahmed Mohamed, Muslim Teen Arrested Over Clock, Files Lawsuit

Ahmed Mohamed
Ahmed Mohamed, center, in a picture posted on Twitter following the clock incident last year.

The family of the Muslim teen who was arrested last year after bringing a homemade clock to school has sued the Irving school district.

The lawsuit filed Monday accuses school officials of violating 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed’s civil rights.

Ahmed was arrested and charged with having a hoax bomb. Though charges were later dropped, he was still suspended for bringing a suspicious object.

“There was no alarm, they didn’t evacuate the school, they didn’t call in a bomb squad,” said Susan Hutchison, Ahmed's attorney. “They knew it wasn’t a bomb. They did none of those things.”

Ahmed’s story became a viral sensation, and his arrest was called into question because of his Muslim faith.

The teen says the incident forced his family to move to Qatar because of death threats.

“I got a lot of support in the beginning, but then again, it’s the hate that sticks because some of it is so damaging – I get death threats,” Ahmed said at a press conference today. “What did I ever do to someone to get death threats?”

In a statement, Irving ISD denies violating Ahmed’s civil rights. The suit also names the city of Irving and MacArthur High principal Daniel Cummings. No dollar amount was given.

The U.S. Department of Justice is also in the middle of a civil rights investigation against the school district, looking into charges of harassment and possible religious discrimination.

Our earlier story

This earlier story includes material from the Associated Press:

The family of a Muslim boy who was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to school has sued Texas school officials, saying they violated the 14-year-old boy's civil rights.


The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of Ahmed Mohamed. The teen was arrested at his suburban Dallas high school in September and charged with having a hoax bomb. He says he brought the homemade clock to school to show his teacher.

The charge was later dropped, but he was still suspended.

The lawsuit names Irving Independent School District, the city of Irving and the school's principal.

“As with any legal matter of this nature, attorneys for the school district will review the filing and respond as appropriate,” the Irving school district said in a statement. “Irving ISD continues to deny violating the student’s rights and will respond to claims in accordance with court rules. Because this matter is now in litigation, Irving ISD officials will have no further comment at this time.”

The family has since moved to Qatar, citing threats and a scholarship offered to Ahmed in the Persian Gulf country.

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.