EAST ISLIP, N.Y. — The family of a Muslim middle school student on Long Island has filed a $25 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the child’s school district.
The family of Nashwan Uppal, a 12-year-old special needs student originally from Pakistan, is suing the East Islip School District, reports CBSNew York.
They are alleging school authorities forced the boy to lie and say he was a member of ISIS and that he was planning to blow up the school’s fence.
Attorney David Antwork said the school’s assistant principal forced Nashwan “under extreme duress” to fill out a written confession.
The suit also claims that school employees looked the other way when Uppal was being bullied and harassed.
“It’s not like he was the new kid in school that all of a sudden nobody knew who he was,” Antwork said. “He was this sweet boy that’s been in the system for seven years since he was in kindergarten.”
Antwork said Uppal thought a “terrorist” was someone who traveled from place to place, which is actually the definition of a tourist.
“It’s hard nowadays to be a Muslim in this country,” Antwork said. “There’s a lot going on in the news, there’s a lot of anti-Muslim rhetoric.”
The school district in a statement said they do not comment on active litigation.