Ninth Grader Arrested for Bringing Homemade Clock to Engineering Class

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is looking into claims of Islamophobia after a gifted 14-year-old student in Irving, Texas, with a passion for inventing and robotics was arrested for making a “hoax bomb” – despite acknowledgement that he told everyone who would listen that it was a clock.

Ahmed Mohamed is a 9th grade student with a collection of awards for his love of invention.

In middle school, the young teen excelled in robotics club and was hoping to continue to develop his passion at his new high school.

Before bed on Sunday evening, the soft-spoken student pieced together a simple clock to bring in Monday morning to his engineering class with hopes of impressing his teacher.

Unfortunately, the small project tucked inside his pencil case would cause him to leave the school in handcuffs, after being searched and treated as a criminal.

“He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” Ahmed told the Dallas News of his engineering teacher’s reaction. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’”

During his English class however, the small invention beeped, causing the teacher to scold him.  Following the class, Mohamed innocently brought the clock to her desk to show the teacher what he had built.

“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” he said. “I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”

The teacher confiscated the clock and a few hours later the principal arrived with the police, who pulled him from his class and brought him into another room where five officers awaited.

Lending even more credibility to the discrimination claim, Mohamed described an officer stating, “Yup. That’s who I thought it was,” despite the teen not recognizing them.

“I think this wouldn’t even be a question if his name wasn’t Ahmed Mohamed,” Alia Salem, executive director of CAIR’s North Texas chapter, told USA Today. “He is an excited kid who is very bright and wants to share it with his teachers.”

The ninth grader was then forced to write a written statement under threat of expulsion, despite his insistence that it was just a clock.

“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” police spokesman James McLellan told the Dallas News. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”

A freshman in a new high school, Mohamed was then paraded through the halls in handcuffs and interrogated at a juvenile facility before being allowed to call his parents.  His tablet and the clock were both confiscated by law enforcement.

“I never said anything like I had a bomb, never.  It made me feel like I wasn’t human- it made me feel like a criminal.” Mohamed recalled.

Mohamed was suspended for three days following the incident, and says he will never bring an invention to school again.

“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who immigrated from Sudan told the Dallas News. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”

Mohamed, his father, and CAIR attorneys are meeting with the high school’s principal and the chief of police on Wednesday.

The American education system- where the creativity and innovation of youth will land you in handcuffs.

Image via screencap