Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old student in Texas, was arrested on Monday for bringing a homemade clock to school. His teachers thought it looked like a bomb.
Mohamed hoped to impress his teachers in the first weeks of starting at MacArthur High School by showing them a clock he had built the night before. He builds his own electronics and enjoyed his robotics club in middle school so much that he had hoped to find something similar in his first year of high school according to The Dallas Morning News.
He showed his invention to his engineering teacher who told him that "it was nice" and advised him not to show any other teachers.
Later in the day, an English teacher spotted the clock and confronted Mohamed about it.
“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” Mohamed told the newspaper. “I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”
The Dallas paper said he was led out in handcuffs, put into juvenile detention and fingerprinted.
“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” police spokesman James McLellan told Dallas News. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”
Mohamed's father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, told Dallas News believes his son was arrested because of his ethnicity: "Because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”
"This wouldn't even be a question if his name wasn't Ahmed Mohamed," says Alia Salem of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "He is an excited kid who is very bright and wants to share it with his teachers."
You can hear Mohamed's "broader explanation" in a Youtube video posted by the paper.
"It made me feel like I wasn't human," Mohamed said in the video. "It made me feel like a criminal."
He has since told media that he vows to never bring his inventions to school again, but it hasn't stopped people from around the world sending him words of hope and encouragement.
Obama even took the time to invite him and his "cool clock" to the White House.
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
Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building. https://t.co/ywrlHUw3g1— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2015
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