No charges will be filed in ‘hoax bomb’ case
By Alex Stanton, Staff Writer
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, received a three-day suspension from MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, for bringing a homemade clock to class after an English teacher reported the teen’s invention as “suspicious in nature” to local authorities. Although Mohamed was arrested and interrogated at a juvenile centre by Irving Police, he was released to his parents later that evening with no charges filed.
Following the report of a possible suspicious device in the school, school officials questioned Mohamed about the nature of his invention and the reason he brought it; during the entire questioning period, he maintained that what he brought to school was nothing more than a homemade clock. Speaking to the press, Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that the device was indeed of no threat, calling the whole fiasco a “naïve accident.”
“We live in an age where you can’t take things like that to school,” Boyd added. “Of course we’ve seen across our country horrific things happen, so we have to err on the side of caution.”
Upon being asked about whether Mohamed’s Muslim name and upbringing may have played a role in the arrest, Chief Boyd described to BBC the “outstanding relationship” Irving Police have with the local Muslim community. He also stated his intent to speak to members of the Muslim community, among them Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed. A 30-year resident of the US, Mohamed’s father said to the Dallas Morning News that the scene of his son being arrested in front of his peers was “not America.”
When the news was widely spread on the internet, the vast majority of social media rallied behind him in solidarity, beginning the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed, support which was welcomed by the Mohamed family. Among the more prolific supporters were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg and President Barack Obama, who extended an invitation to the White House to both Mohamed and his “cool clock.” As well, Mohamed has been invited to speak at next month’s “Astronomy Night,” alongside NASA scientists and astronauts.
“We should inspire more kids like you to like science,” Obama tweeted. “It’s what makes America great.”
Mohamed, whose father describes him as a “very smart, brilliant kid”, has stated his overall displeasure with his high school, and will highly reconsider his enrolment after the end of his suspension.
“I’m thinking about transferring from MacArthur to any other school,” Mohamed told the Dallas Morning News.