NEWS
15/03/2018 21:56 SAST

Judge Dismisses Discrimination Lawsuit Filed By Family Of Ahmed Mohamed

The Muslim teen was arrested in 2015 after bringing a homemade clock to school.

ASHRAF SHAZLY via Getty Images
Ahmed Mohamed was arrested in 2015 after bringing a homemade clock to MacArthur High School in Texas.

A federal judge in Texas has thrown out a lawsuit brought forward by the family of a Muslim teen who was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to school.

U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay dismissed Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed’s case “with prejudice” on Tuesday. This means that the teen’s father cannot refile the lawsuit against the Irving Independent School District and other defendants named in the case using the same claims.

The judge also ruled that Mohamed’s family was responsible for covering the cost of the lawsuit.

Kathryn Long, an attorney for the school district, said it is “pleased that the Court has dismissed the case in its entirety.”

“The Court’s Order confirms that there is no plausible claim that Irving ISD or its employees violated anyone’s constitutional rights,” Long told HuffPost in an email. “Irving ISD is committed to the safety, well-being, and equality of all students.”

Mohamed’s son, Ahmed Mohamed, was arrested in September 2015 after administrators at Irving’s MacArthur High School mistook a clock that the student constructed inside a pencil case for a “hoax bomb.” Ahmed, then 14 years old, was sent to juvenile detention and suspended from school for three days.

Handout . / Reuters
A homemade clock made by Ahmed Mohamed, 14, is seen in an undated picture released by the Irving Texas Police Department Sept. 16, 2015.

Ahmed told local media at the time that he was passionate about robotics and wanted to impress teachers with his invention. Irving police later announced that they would not file charges against the teen.

Ahmed’s father claimed that the school district discriminated against Ahmed because of his race and religion. In 2016, Mohamed filed a lawsuit against the Irving school district, the city of Irving, and other defendants, saying that his son’s civil rights were violated

The following year, Judge Lindsay ruled that Mohamed had failed to prove to the court that officials had discriminated against the teenager. Tuesday’s dismissal comes after the suit was refiled.

In a statement, the city of Irving told HuffPost that the court’s ruling supports the “justifiable actions” taken by its police officers.

Susan Hutchison, Mohamed’s attorney, indicated to HuffPost that she intends to move forward with the case.  

“Certainly, we disagree with the court’s ruling and hope to prevail on appeal,” Hutchison said in an email.

Separately, the family had also filed a defamation lawsuit against Irving’s former mayor and a host of conservative news personalities and networks, including Glenn Beck and Fox News. According to Dallas News, the mayor and Fox News were dismissed from the suit, while Beck reached an undisclosed settlement with the family.

Ahmed’s case garnered international attention. In the days after his arrest, the teen received support from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other leading figures in the tech industry. President Barack Obama invited the teen to the White House. The teen, whose family roots are in Sudan, also met with Sudan’s president.

Ahmed and his family have since moved to Qatar.

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