Federal Judge Tosses ‘Clock Boy’ Discrimination Suit

AP Photo/Brandon Wade

DALLAS, Texas — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the family of Ahmed “Clock Boy” Mohamed Friday accusing the Irving Independent School District and the City of Irving of religious discrimination.

The lawsuit filed last year alleged Mohamed’s civil rights were violated when he was arrested in 2015 after taking a homemade digital clock-in-a-box to his high school where it was mistaken by a teacher for a “hoax bomb,” Breitbart Texas reported.

Ultimately, no charges were filed against the teen once the situation sorted itself out, although Mohamed served three days of suspension before his family withdrew him from the Irving Independent School District and relocated to Qatar after accepting a full scholarship to attend a Qatar Foundation school.

The federal complaint also claimed a history of anti-Muslim sentiment in Irving and that the then 14-year-old teen was discriminated against based on race and religion. On Friday, the judge ruled there was no evidence of either.

Previously, Breitbart Texas reported that the teen’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, sued for $15 million in damages and demanded apologies from Irving Independent School District and City officials.

Last October, the Thompson & Horton, LLP, attorneys for Irving ISD and high school Principal Daniel Cummings filed motions to dismiss this federal lawsuit, citing that the plaintiff’s father failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted.

Breitbart Texas reported:

One of the points attorneys argued in the school district’s motion to dismiss summary was that public schools have a “substantial interest” in “maintaining discipline in the classroom and on school grounds.” The document stated: “The device was disturbing enough that a teacher directed him to keep the device in his backpack — an instruction that A.M. promptly disobeyed in his English class.”

Breitbart Texas obtained a statement from Thompson & Horton, LLP, in which they responded to the dismissal:

We are pleased with the decision reached by Judge Sam Lindsay. The court recognized the challenging situations faced by the individuals who serve our communities in public schools. Schools and principals must make decisions every day regarding student safety. The opinion confirms that there was no suggestion of discriminatory intent by any school district employee.

As the court explained, “Principals are responsible for the safety of students and others on campus and, as part of that responsibility, often have to make decisions quickly and with little information…. A principal’s fate is not so hapless that, on the one hand, by not taking action he is faced with the gruesome prospect of death or serious injury of persons had the device actually been a bomb and exploded; and, on the other hand, he is faced with a federal lawsuit for denial of a student’s constitutional rights because the device turned out not to be a bomb.”

In January, a Texas district judge threw out a defamation lawsuit filed by the Mohamed patriarch on behalf of his son against a handful of media organizations and public figures.

Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.


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