Last year, the story of Ahmed Mohamed, the Muslim teen who became known as “clock boy” after being arrested for bringing a homemade timepiece to school in a pencil case, swept through the national media.
On Aug. 1 Mohamed Elhassan, Ahmed’s father, filed suit against Irving ISD, Principal Daniel Cummings, and the city of Irving in the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas, Dallas Division.
While the lawsuit fails to state a dollar amount, on Nov. 23 Ahmed's family delivered a letter threatening litigation against the city of Irving and IISD, seeking a total of $15 million in compensation.
Ahmed was a freshman at MacArthur High School when the incident occurred on Sept. 14, 2015. The boy sought to demonstrate his technical abilities to his teachers by assembling a digital clock, which he brought to school in a pencil case.
Ahmed was detained and interrogated by Irving police officers but never charged.
The U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into the conduct of IISD regarding its alleged pattern of discrimination.
Irving ISD issued the following statement after confirming the lawsuit: “As with any legal matter of this nature, attorneys for the school district will review the filing and respond as appropriate. Irving ISD continues to deny violating the student’s rights and will respond to claims in accordance with court rules.”
The lawsuit alleges Ahmed’s rights were violated in contravention of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit further alleges Cummings was no “mere bystander” during the interrogation of Ahmed at the school.
“He not only participated, he threatened Ahmed with expulsion if he didn’t sign a statement (saying the act was purposeful), in complete violation of Ahmed’s rights and his own responsibilities as the principal of the school,” the suit states.
Ahmed and his family relocated to Qatar after the incident.
The plaintiffs are represented by Fort Worth attorneys Susan Hutchinson and Christopher Stoy.
Case No. 3:16-cv-02283-G