Instead of encouraging a student’s applied ingenuity, a Texas high school teacher and the principal called the police on Monday and had him arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school. In an attempt to impress his engineering teacher, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed created a digital clock on Sunday night and was arrested for bringing it to school the next day. In response to public outrage on social media, the charges against the freshman student were dropped on Wednesday.
Roughly 20 minutes before his bedtime on Sunday, Ahmed made a digital clock using a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display held inside a case with a tiger hologram on the front. When Ahmed showed the homemade clock to his engineering teacher first thing on Monday, he received words of warning instead of encouragement.
“He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” Ahmed recalled. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’”
Deciding to heed his teacher’s advice, Ahmed kept the clock in his backpack during English class, but the alarm went off in the middle of a lesson. After the English teacher told him to shut off the alarm, she accused him of bringing a bomb to school before confiscating the clock.
“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’” Ahmed said.
The principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period and led him into a room with four other cops. An officer that Ahmed had never seen before commented, “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”
Due to the fact that Ahmed is a student at Irving MacArthur High School, the police were allowed to interrogate him without his parents present and search his belongings because he was enrolled in a public school. Although they repeatedly asked Ahmed why he was making a bomb, the 14-year-old tried in vain to explain to a group of bigoted imbeciles that he had made a clock.
Led out of the building with his hands cuffed behind his back at 3 p.m., Ahmed was photographed in the hallway wearing hisNASA shirt. Police transported him to a juvenile detention facility where Ahmed was booked and processed. When Ahmed’s parents arrived to pick him up, they were informed that Ahmed was being charged with bringing a hoax bomb to school.
Suspended from school for three days, Ahmed has vowed to never bring another invention to class again. During an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Ahmed asserted that he never claimed it was a bomb and said, “It made me feel like I wasn’t human. It made me feel like a criminal.”
Nestled within the tightening grip of Islamophobia, the city of Irving, Texas, achieved notoriety earlier this year when the city council enacted a resolution this June prohibiting judges from violating the U.S. or Texas constitution by using foreign laws to rule on family law cases. Although the bill was intended to prevent imams from enacting Shariah law on American soil, supporters of the bill did not realize that the Bible includes foreign laws as well.
After a wave of public support flooded social media, Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd announced on Wednesday that charges would not be filed against Ahmed. Shortly after the press conference, President Barack Obama invited Ahmed to bring his clock to the White House.
“It’s clear that at least some of Ahmed’s teachers failed him,” stated Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest. “That’s too bad, but it’s not too late for all of us to use this as a teachable moment and to search our own conscience for biases in whatever form they take.”