Say… do you remember Ahmed “the Clock Kid” Mohamed? Last I heard he and his family were leaving the country for more friendly territory after the attention of the world was focused on his home made (or Radio Shack kit) clock which he brought to school, triggering a bomb scare. But before he’s done with America once and for all, his family appears to have one bit of unfinished business to attend to. If it’s not too much bother, they’d like $15M for all of the pain and anguish they were put through. (Yahoo News)
The Muslim teenager arrested when a teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb threatened to sue his school and the town of Irving, Texas for $15 million, his lawyer said Monday.
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, became an overnight sensation in September after his sister tweeted a photo of the aspiring inventor standing in handcuffs while wearing a t-shirt with the US space agency NASA’s logo.
President Barack Obama joined a surge of public support by congratulating the teen on his skills and inviting him to bring the clock to the White House in what was seen as a pointed rebuke to school and police officials amid accusations of Islamophobia.
The Trib has the details of the letter sent out by the family’s attorneys, describing the basis for the claims of damage.
As many as seven adults teamed up to interrogate the 14-year-old boy after a teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb and pressured him to sign a confession, according to the “letter of demand” from his lawyer warning of plans to file a $15 million suit…
But his family, which shortly thereafter took up a benefactor’s offer to relocate to Qatar, argued in the letter that the boy’s reputation has been “permanently scarred.” They are seeking not only financial reparations but written apologies from the city’s mayor and police chief…
The letter of demand alleges that officials at Ahmed’s school never really thought that his homemade clock, assembled from “spare parts and scrap pieces he had around the house,” was a bomb. Attorneys claim that Ahmed showed it to another teacher earlier in the day without consequence. But in his English class, a teacher told him it “looked like” a bomb.
There’s no better sign of being well and truly immersed into the melting pot of American culture than hiring a lawyer to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit if you feel aggrieved after an encounter with the authorities. For all I know the kid’s parents might actually pull this off and find themselves with a significant payday as they settle into their new digs in Qatar. With the way things roll in our courts today, nothing is beyond belief anymore. But I’ll be interested to hear what the specif damages are. I never heard of any allegations of physical abuse while in detention or loss of property. Are we just talking about mental trauma? The authorities tend to respond fairly quickly and with a heavy hand if someone mentions the possibility of a bomb in a school. So multiple people questioned him… and? The rest of the fallout came from the community, not the school or the local officials.
And I have to wonder if a defense attorney might point out that the same incident also resulted in a plethora of rewards and potential riches which the student never would have realized without all of the attention that came along with this traumatic event. He got a personal invitation to the White House. His “dream school” destination of M.I.T. rolled out the red carpet for him. And if he didn’t get a full ride, a public fundraiser immediately drummed up $20K for him in a scholarship fund. All of that came at the cost of a few hours of interrogation because some public school educators were alarmed at the appearance of his clock.
Doesn’t sound like that bad of a trade off to me. If he doesn’t get to capitalize on those opportunities because his parents decided to take him to Qatar, that’s pretty much on them as I read the tea leaves. Of course, that’s for a jury to decide assuming it ever gets that far.