By now, you’ve probably heard of the story of Ahmed Mohamed, a high school student in Irving, Texas who was recently arrested on suspicion of brining a fake bomb to school when it was in fact just a homemade clock. This story has brought near universal mockery onto the town of Irving and the authorities involved, and it fortunately seems like there shouldn’t be any real negative consequences for the student. In fact, he’s been made into something of a celebrity. Barack Obama has even invited him to come visit the White House.
Of course, the story isn’t quite dead yet. The police are unbelievably continuing to defend their actions. Apparently, responding that the clock was, in fact, just a clock wasn’t considered to be forthcoming enough. Everyone seems to agree now that there was no intent to cause any problems, so the hoax bomb angle was a red herring all along. And, not surprisingly, Mohamed will be transferring to what is hopefully a more supportive school.
Obviously, as many point out, this whole case raises quite a few issues. There’s overly aggressive disciplinary procedures leading to law enforcement getting involved for fairly (in this case totally) innocuous behavior at school. There’s jumping to the conclusion that a student with the last name Mohamed must be up to no good if he has something with wires and a clock. There’s also an extreme lack of technical skills. Should anyone really think that even a fake bomb would have a big countdown clock like in a cartoon? Students often get in less trouble for far more dangerous things like putting dry ice in sealed containers. It should be apparent to basically anyone that the device was not a danger. Furthermore, schools should be encouraging students to work on projects outside class. It’s much more productive than playing video games all day.