14-Year-Old Muslim Student Detained, Interrogated on Charges of Making ‘Hoax Bomb’ — He Says There’s Much More to the Story
Oh the twist and turns. A 14-year-old high school student was arrested Monday for bring a “hoax bomb” to school, when in fact he had designed and constructed and electric alarm clock. He took it to school show off his love of inventing to his new teachers.
Ahmed Mohamed shared that he was encouraged by his father to take the homemade electric clock he built over the weekend to MacArthur High School in Texas on Monday where he attends. It was an oipportunity for him to introduce and show off his skills to his engineering teacher. While in another class, the clock began to ring while in Mohamed’s backpack later that day. The teacher then asked Mohamed show her the clock once his classmate had exited the room. She then confiscated it.
She told him, “Well it looks like a bomb. Don’t show it to anyone else,’” Mohamed, who aspires to be an inventor, is quoted as saying . “And she decides to take it from me.”
Unaware that she was going to call the police young Ahmad was shocked when the police later showed up at the high school, handcuffed and arrested him
“I really don’t think it’s fair at all because I just brought something to school that wasn’t a threat to anyone, it didn’t do anything wrong. I just showed my teacher something, and I end up being arrested later that day,” the 14-year-old said.
Once more a young man of color is handled totally different than a white male would have been handled. Ahmad who has been suspended from the school, told the Dallas Morning News that he was interrogated by several police officers who confiscated his tablet and his invention, which he said took him only 20 minutes to build. He said the police took mug shots and wouldn’t allow him to call his parents for help.
The police actions were unacceptable. Ahmad is inderaged and his parenst should have been called while he was still at school before he left the property. The reporting tecaher should have given the parents taht courtesy. She did not. The prinipal did not intervene evidently.
Ahmad’s parents were correct in assessing that it was profiling and discrimination that determined how their son was treated. We are in the melting pot. We are in the greatest country,” his father, Elhassan Mohamed, said. “We need this trouble not to hinder us, as Muslims, as Christians, as Jews, or whatever you are.”
“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” his father, who immigrated to the U.S. from Sudan, said.
The clock was built using a pencil case that was shut with a cable. Ahmad aware of the threat concern said he purposefully didn’t use a lock so that it wouldn’t look suspicious, but police still described the container as a suitcase or briefcase.
“It made me feel like I wasn’t human,” he said. “It made me feel like I was a criminal.”
Irving Police Officer James McLellan reported to KXAS-TV that school officials called law enforcement because they thought the device was suspicious and wanted to exercise caution.
“A lot of these details that the family and he have provided to you were not shared with us yesterday,” McLellan said. “He was very much less than forthcoming.”
McLellan told the Morning News that Ahma “kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”
He’s a 14 year-old student who was cooperative, did as he was asked by t his teacher who he explained to that teh clock he built and had in his backpack sounded an alarm. What more did he have to say. The teacher said that it looked a bomb; how would she know? Still he told her that it was a clock. If he were not Muslim or brown would the tecaher had called the police? Or would she have called his parents?
Clearly he exhibited no starnge behavior, did not speak strangely or act suspicious. Still she concluded that it was a bomb and proceded to involved the police.
In a press conference Wednesday, Irving police said they will not pursue charges against Mohamed.
“We have no evidence that there was an intention to create alarm,” Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said. “I couldn’t speak to whether [the device] works for sure, but it’s not an explosive device.”
“Around 3 p.m. yesterday, a MacArthur High School student was arrested on campus by the Irving Police Department. School officials have been cooperating fully with the police investigation, and while privacy laws prevent us from sharing specific details about student discipline, we can assure everyone that school administrators are handling the situation in accordance with the Irving ISD Student Code of Conduct and applicable laws.
We always ask our students and staff to immediately report if they observe any suspicious items and/or suspicious behavior. If something is out of the ordinary, the information should be reported immediately to a school administrator and/or the police so it can be addressed right away. We will always take necessary precautions to protect our students and keep our school community as safe as possible.”
Unfortunately Ahmad was wrongly profiled , assumed a threat, suspended from school, arrested in handcuffs, and escorted from the school. All this happened before parents were contacted.
Ahmad told the Dallas Morning News that he does not plan to take one of his inventions to school ever again. And that’s unfortunate. Schools are suppose to inspie and encourage child to do exactkly what he did and yet he was met with suspicion, suspension and arrest. Even after it was determined that whta he said was a clock actually is a clock. No apologiy was issued yto him or his family.
“This all raises a red flag for us: how Irving’s government entities are operating in the current climate,” Alia Salem, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ North Texas chapter said. “We’re still investigating, but it seems pretty egregious.”
Besides the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ahmad has garnered support from many strangers nationwide who took to social media to protest how the teenager was treated. On Wednesday morning the hashtag “#IStandWithAhmed” was the number one trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. with celebrities weighing in.