Irving, TX – An intelligent and talented 9th grader was arrested this week for bringing a homemade clock into school. 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed is interested in electronics and has taught himself how to make his own radios and other devices. He can even repair his own go-kart.
Recently, he made a clock that he was proud of so he decided to take it into school and show his classmates and teachers. Sadly, instead of celebrating his achievement, one of his teachers called the police on him because they thought that it might be a bomb.
When the police arrived, they took the threat seriously and believed that it could be a bomb as well, even though it obviously wasn’t. Eventually, the police charged him with making a clock and misrepresenting it as a bomb, even though he consistently told everyone that it was a clock, and denied that it was a bomb when the teachers or the police suggested it.
The young man was then handcuffed and taken to a juvenile detention center, and his clock was taken and put in an evidence room. He was also suspended from school and was unable to attend a student council meeting that he was scheduled to be a part of.
“Here in high school, none of the teachers know what I can do,” Ahmed told Dallas News after the incident.
He then explained that when he showed his engineering teacher what he created, he was warned not to show it to the other teachers.
“He was like, ‘That’s really nice, I would advise you not to show any other teachers’,” Ahmed said.
He then kept the clock in his bag until his English class when the alarm went off and disturbed his teacher. After the class, Ahmed showed his teacher what was making the noise, and she accused him of bringing a bomb to school.
“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” he said.
“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me,’” he explained.
The teacher took the clock from him and he had expected that was the end of it. However, towards the end of the day, Ahmed was pulled out of class and taken to a room filled with police officers.
He said that the officers then attempted to get him to admit that he tried to make a bomb.
“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said.
“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”
The officer then told him, “‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”
The police even admit that Ahmed never once said the device was a bomb, and they never had any reason to believe that it actually was one, but the police still seemed to think he was lying about something, even though they didn’t have any proof.
“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb. He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation,” police spokesman James McLellan said.
“It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?” he added.
They couldn’t possibly imagine that a young man would want to teach himself a valuable skill and share his achievement with his teachers.
“They thought, ‘How could someone like this build something like this unless it’s a threat?’,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed believes that his family is being discriminated against.
“He just wants to invent good things for mankind, but because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated,” he said.
There has since been an outpour of support on social media since Ahmed’s story went public. He has even gotten support from Mark Z and President Obama.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter-culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work, he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.