Federal Judge Dismisses ‘Clock Boy’ Ahmed Mohamed’s Lawsuit Against Irving, Texas, School District

Ben Torres/Getty Images
Ben Torres/Getty Images

It seems that Ahmed Mohamed—the young Muslim teen who was arrested at his school over a homemade clock mistaken for a bomb—will not be getting any justice in his case. A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit that was filed against the Irving, Texas, Independent School District and the city of Irving.


As the Dallas Morning News reports, the complaint claimed that Ahmed’s civil rights were violated in the September 2015 incident, when he was taken into custody at MacArthur High School and charged with making a “hoax bomb.”

That charge was later dropped, but not before the case drew a flurry of protests. Ahmed’s name became widely recognized as the 14-year-old made headlines.

“They knew it wasn’t a bomb, that he never threatened anyone, that he never said it was a bomb, that he never alarmed anyone,” Susan Hutchison, an attorney for Ahmed’s family, said after the suit was filed, the Morning News notes. “Despite all of those things, they yanked him out of his chair, put him in handcuffs and arrested him. There was no cause for arrest.”

The lawsuit—which named the Irving Independent School District, the city of Irving and MacArthur’s principal as defendants—was based on the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

However, on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay agreed with the city and school district’s motions to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that there was no evidence that Ahmed had faced religious or racial discrimination.


“Plaintiff does not allege any facts from which this court can reasonably infer that any [Irving Independent School District] employee intentionally discriminated against A.M. based on his race or religion,” the judge wrote in his ruling.

The judge also ruled that the lawsuit failed to prove that the arrest violated Ahmed’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.


“Plaintiff fails to allege a policy, custom or practice of the city that was the moving force of an alleged constitutional violation,” Lindsay declared.

Lindsay said that MacArthur High School Principal Daniel Cummings was looking out for the safety of the other students when he and a local police officer removed Ahmed from the classroom, brushing off questions in the suit that questioned Cummings’ motives.


“Woe unto the principal who fails to act on a potential threat that later becomes a reality!” Linsday wrote. “This is not a situation in which a person standing in Principal Cummings’ shoes can take unnecessary risks.”


“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,” he added.

Ahmed’s family moved to Qatar following the incident.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi


::checks level of civility of discourse in the comments::

My “level of civility” meter says the level is “Nope.” Which is a dang shame, I was hoping that an article about a student being treated poorly by a school wouldn’t lure in trolls.