14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas on Monday. According to the Dallas Morning News, Mohamed–who frequently fixes his own radios, go-karts, and other trinkets—brought the item to classes Monday in hopes of impressing his engineering teacher. However, the 9th-grader was shocked when he didn’t get the reaction he’d expected.
“He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” the teen said. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’”
He did as his teacher had advised, and kept the clock inside of his school bag, but when he got to English class, an alarm on the clock beeped in the middle of a lesson, causing his teacher to complain. Mohamed says that he took the invention to the front of the classroom to show his teacher the invention once the lesson was over.
“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” he recalled.
“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”
Then teacher kept the clock, and by sixth period, Mohamed was pulled out of class by the principal and a police officer and taken to the principal’s office. For two periods, the teen says that he was questioned by officers who searched his belongings.
“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” the student said.
“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”
“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”
Police eventually arrested the student and transported him to a juvenile detention center where he had to pose for a mug shot, was fingerprinted and placed in a cell. Shortly after, he was reunited with his parents and allowed to go home. Police are still investigating the incident, and Mohamed was suspended from school for three days.
“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” said the teen’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who immigrated from Sudan and occasionally returns there to run for president. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”
Police spokesman James McLellan claimed that Mohamed never claimed his invention was anything other than a clock, and cops had no reason to believe that the device was dangerous; however, he insists that officers felt the teen wasn’t giving them the whole story.
“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” McLellan said. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”
Sadly, 14-year-old, who was a member of the robotics club in middle school, has vowed never to bring another invention to school again.
Since catching wind of the news, Twitter users have taken to the social media platform to blast both the Irving School District and Police Department for the way that they have handled this situation.