Ahmed Mohamed just wanted to impress his teachers with a homemade invention. The story of what happened next has made the 14-year-old from Irving, Tex., the object of national outrage and attention.
Eager to show off to his engineering teacher, Mohamed walked into MacArthur High School on Monday morning with his hastily assembled invention: A digital clock.
Hours later, the ninth-grader was escorted out of the school in police custody after teachers mistook the device for a bomb.
The incident has triggered allegations of racism and made a Texas school district the target of outrage that began online and quickly spilled into the most powerful offices in the land.
As the story spread, along with a photo of Mohamed in a NASA T-shirt and handcuffs, support came flooding in.
He was escorted out in handcuffs, not shot, for God’s sake. My criticism of the school and/or police is that hours later he was removed rather than immediately.
Where is the common sense here? At 14, a smart kid should be aware that devices that look like what he made would produce panic, especially to the untrained eye. (I got wigged out over a county mosquito trap in my yard several years ago.) Furthermore, the boy’s parents should have been keenly aware that their kid’s “invention” might send the wrong message–sort of like why you don’t take toy guns or fake hand-grenades to school.
The school’s first responsibility is for the safety of students and staff. Anything suspicious should be immediately dealt with as a threat. Mr. Mohamad should have asked permission before bringing his invention to school.
Should his arrest stand? Probably not but his parents and he need to have a conference with school administration about using common sense. In this day and age of violence, there is just no time for second guessing.
This kid isn’t some beset upon hero. He was a dumb ass totally lacking in common sense and should be treated as such, not invited to the White House.