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US school 'forced 12-year-old to confess he was IS terrorist'

Muslim-American family sues authorities for $50m, saying son was forced by principal to write he was IS 'terrorist' who planned to blow up school
The suit says the pupil was forced to confess he wanted to blow up the school fence

A Muslim-American family is suing education authorities for $50m after senior school staff allegedly forced their 12-year-old son to confess he was an Islamic State member planning to "blow up" his school. 

The lawsuit says Nashwan Uppal, a Pakistani-American student with learning difficulties, was interrogated in January by senior staff at East Islip Middle School, Long Island, a day after he was taunted by canteen bullies about being a "terrorist".

The New York Post reported the suit as saying Nashwan was pulled out of PE class by the head teacher, Mark Bernard, his assistant Jason Stanton and a superintendent.

“Stanton repeatedly asked Nashwan if he was a terrorist, and if he made bombs in his house,” the complaint says. When he said no, Stanton allegedly shouted, “Don’t lie to us!”

The lawsuit alleged that Nashwan 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".

Nashwan was then allowed to call his mother, Nubaisha Amar, who was told her son had pledged allegiance to IS and was going to blow up the school. 

Police escorted them home before searching the house and concluding there was no threat.

Nashwan was however suspended for a week for “criminal activity”, the complaint says.

The family's lawyer, David Antwork, told the Post that the boy was emotionally scarred by the ordeal.

“The defendants trampled on... Nashwan’s civil rights, berated and humiliated him by forcing Nashwan to confess to crimes which he did not commit while ignoring the fact that he was incessantly bullied and had known social, language and learning disabilities," he said.

The East Islip School District did not comment to the Post about the allegations.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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