Muslim ninth grader arrested for bringing an electronics project to school – Timothy B. Lee/Vox
Ahmed Mohamed is a ninth-grader in Irving, Texas who likes to tinker with electronics. On Monday, according to the Dallas Morning News, he built a simple electronic clock — a project he said took about 20 minutes — and strapped it inside a pencil case.
He showed the project to his engineering teacher, who praised the design but advised him not to show it to other teachers. Later, in his English class, the clock beeped while it was in his bag. When he showed the project to his teacher, she thought it looked like a bomb.
He insisted that the clock wasn’t a bomb, but the authorities at the school weren’t impressed:
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.
They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”
Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion. But the police kept him busy with questions.
“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said.
“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”
“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”
According to the Dallas Morning News, the police arrested Ahmed and led him out of school in handcuffs. His school gave him a three-day suspension, and police are still investigating the incident.