US & Canada

Ahmed Mohamed: 'Clock boy' seeks $15m from city and school

Ahmed Mohamed was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to school Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ahmed and his family have moved to Qatar for his schooling since the incident

A boy who was arrested for taking a homemade clock to class is seeking $15m (£10m) from his city and school.

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was held by police and suspended from his school in Texas because his teacher mistook the clock for a bomb.

His lawyer said in a letter that the incident, which made global headlines, sparked threats against the teenager and left him deeply traumatised.

Ahmed and his family have since moved to Qatar to complete his education.

The arrest sparked outrage, sympathy and the trending hashtag #StandWithAhmed.

His lawyers are asking for $10m (£7m) from the city of Irving and $5m (£3.3m) from the Irving Independent School District, saying that Ahmed was "publicly mistreated" and remains scarred.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ahmed's homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb

In addition to the compensation they want an apology, saying that in the aftermath of the arrest, he received threatening emails and feared for his safety, causing "severe psychological trauma".

The lawyers will file a civil action suit if the school does not comply within 60 days, they said.

"Irving Police officials immediately determined that the clock was harmless. The only reason for the overreaction was that the responsible adults involved irrationally assumed that Ahmed was dangerous because of his race, national origin and religion," the lawyers wrote in a letter to the City of Irving.

Ahmed told reporters at the time it was "very sad" that his teacher thought his clock was a threat.

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Media captionAhmed Mohamed meets US President Barack Obama

His arrest was sharply criticised, and he received an outpouring of support including an invitation to the White House.

In October, he met Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Ahmed's father is a Sudanese immigrant to the US who once stood as a presidential candidate against Mr Bashir.

Ahmed also met Google co-founder Sergey Brin and officials from Turkey, Sudan and Jordan.

Texas officials defended their decision, saying they were only concerned with the safety of students.

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community offered him a full scholarship in October. His family announced they would be leaving Texas and moving so he could attend school there.

TIME Magazine named Ahmed among its "30 Most Influential Teens of 2015" list.

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