By Meghna Kumar
On Monday, September 14, a 14 year-old named Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade digital clock to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. An aspiring engineer, Ahmed had created the clock out of a pencil case and hoped to impress his teacher, but she did not respond as he had expected her to. She perceived Ahmed’s clock as a threat and the school contacted the local police.
When Ahmed was arrested and brought to the police station, he was accused of creating a “hoax bomb,” despite his explanations that his creation was just a clock. The police eventually dropped the charges and Ahmed has stated that he is not upset that they have not yet apologized to him. He was also suspended from school for four days, but his family has decided that transferring schools is the best option for them at this time.
Many Americans are showing their support for Ahmed via social media. “I Stand With Ahmed” is trending on Twitter and even President Barack Obama tweeted, “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.”
Students at Bellbrook High School are also backing Ahmed. Junior Heather Engle stated, “I believe that it was incredibly racist to just assume that the device he had made was a bomb just because of his skin color. I feel so bad for him because he was just trying to show his engineer teacher what he had done and he ended up arrested for it!” Senior Dalia Alkhawaga also commented, stating, “I hope intelligent students of color are not discouraged from being innovative because of the response of this one teacher in Texas.”
Ahmed plans to continue on his creative journey and hopes to one day attend college at MIT.