Family Sues Middle School Over Boy's 'Terrorist' Confession

$25M suit alleges East Islip forced Muslim boy into it
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2016 8:33 AM CDT
Family Sues Middle School Over Boy's 'Terrorist' Confession
   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

A 12-year-old Pakistani-American Muslim boy with special needs confessed earlier this year to being a member of ISIS and plotting to blow up the school fence, and now his family is suing the school district in East Islip, NY, alleging that officials there forced a false confession and violated his civil rights. The $25 million lawsuit claims that Nashwan Uppal was discriminated against based on his race, ethnicity, religion, and disability, and that he was subject to unlawful search and seizure, reports Newsday. The suit stems from an incident in January when Uppal, described as having severe social and learning disabilities, was allegedly accosted in the lunch room by other kids asking what he was going to blow up next.

Uppal finally agreed, saying he was plotting to blow up the fence, in an effort to get the bullies to leave him alone, PIX 11 reports. The superintendent, principal, and vice principal later pulled him from class and repeatedly asked if he was a terrorist; the suit says the scared boy was forced to write a confession saying he was "part of ISIS, knew how to make bombs, that he had bombs in his house, and that he was going to blow up the school fence." Cops who searched his home found nothing and concluded he was no threat, but he was suspended for a week for "criminal activity." The family's attorney tells the New York Post that the boy's civil rights were "trampled on" and that incessant bullying was ignored. (This Muslim girl was asked if she had a bomb in her backpack.)

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