Clock-boy's discrimination lawsuit dismissed by federal judge

Ahmed Mohamed, better known as clock boy, has lost in court again. His family’s discrimination lawsuit against the city, the school district, and the principal have been dismissed by a federal judge. From CBS News:

On Thursday, Judge Sam Lindsay of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the plaintiffs had failed to prove officials discriminated against Mohamed.

In his ruling, Lindsay dismissed claims against the city and the school district, writing that the court could not “reasonably infer that any IISD employee intentionally discriminated against [Mohamed] based on his race or religion.”

He also dismissed the claim against Cummings, the principal, who Mohamed’s team said violated his civil rights and treated the boy unfairly. Lindsay wrote the plaintiff’s complaint “does not allege that [Cummings] treated [Mohamed] differently than other similarly situated students, and that the unequal treatment was based on religion or race.”

This story remains one of the great moral panics of our time. Despite all of the attention this story garnered, including a shout-out from President Obama, courts have now decided that no one involved did anything discriminatory.

Much of the outrage over the story was based on the false premise that Ahmed Mohamed had built the clock in question and was just trying to show off his accomplishment. Only he hadn’t done that. Mohamed merely disassembled a store-bought clock radio, tossed the guts of the clock into a pencil case and brought it to his high school. There’s no evidence he did anything more than removing a couple screws, so there was never much justification for him to show it off to his engineering teacher.

Despite this, the news media has consistently claimed Mohamed built the clock. Here’s how CBS frames the story even now, “Ahmed Mohamed, an avid hobbyist who was 14 at the time, assembled the clock using a circuit board and digital display and proudly brought the clock to school to show to his teachers.” Other stories this week referred to it as a “homemade clock.”

When Mohamed’s disassembled clock radio went off in his English class, his teacher contacted the principal. He was later interrogated by police and arrested for making a hoax bomb. Those charges were eventually dropped, but after a year-long detour to Qatar, Mohamed and his family returned to the U.S. and hired an attorney. In addition to the lawsuits filed against the school, the city, and the principal (which were all dismissed this week), the family also filed lawsuits against Fox News, The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Ben Shapiro and several others.

The lawsuits against media outlets resulted in anti-SLAPP motions from each of the defendants. As each defendant won, they were entitled to recover attorney’s costs from Mohamed’s family.  So it’s very likely that the family has lost a considerable amount of money on these lawsuits.

Hopefully, this brings to an end a story about which the media seemed determined not to report all the facts because they had already determined which narrative they wanted to support.

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