You would think that teachers in Texas, home of Texas Instruments, would know what a science project looks like versus, say, oh … a bomb. And yet 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was taken out of school by police in handcuffs on Monday after teachers reported his rebuilt digital clock as a potential bomb. And just to make sure he really learned his lesson (something along the lines of why Muslims in America might go radical), he was reportedly suspended as well.
So, yes, the school predicatably overreacted and potentially based on prejudice. But, that’s not the most concerning part. The Real Story takes place when things went bad for Mohamed: in English class.
He kept the clock inside his school bag in English class, but the teacher complained when the alarm beeped in the middle of a lesson. Ahmed brought his invention up to show her afterward.
‘She was like, it looks like a bomb,’ he said.
‘I told her, “It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.”’
The teacher kept the clock. When the principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period, he suspected he wouldn’t get it back.
Wait … what?! She wasted time arguing that the digital clock that had disturbed class by acting like a clock was a bomb, and then kept what she thought was a bomb? In the school?! And the kid gets suspended?
If this is what it looks like when the faculty of MacArther High goes out of its way to handcuff a brown kid, we’d hate to see what happens if they ever face a real emergency.