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Em 16 September 2015 04:29 PM

Irving 9th-grader arrested after taking homemade clock to school

Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High on Monday.

Instead, the school phoned police about Ahmed’s circuit-stuffed pencil case.

So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and took a trip in handcuffs to juvenile detention. His clock now sits in an evidence room. Police say they may yet charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.
Irving 9th-grader arrested after taking homemade clock to school: 'So you tried to make a bomb?'

crocoduck_hunter 16 September 2015 04:42 PM

Notice what the school and police did not do: they didn't evacuate the school or call the bomb squad.

Either they're far more incompetent when it comes to dealing with bomb threats than they let on, or they knew it wasn't really a bomb the whole time and this was done only because they wanted an excuse to harass and intimidate a kid based on his skin color and name.

Lainie 16 September 2015 04:49 PM


“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.’”
A "movie bomb"? Did this officer think he was living in action movie?

Sue 16 September 2015 05:00 PM


“It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?”
Ok I can see this as being somewhat reasonable (and given this happened on Sept 11th I can even understand the extra concern) but the child told a teacher about it when he arrived at the school that morning! If he'd kept it hidden and the first sign anyone had about it was when it beeped in class maybe some extra scrutiny would have been in order. But as things played out, not so much.

ETA: oops read the story too quickly, Sept 11th was mentioned but it was not because this happened on that day!

jimmy101_again 16 September 2015 06:02 PM

Note to Police and School Officials:
In order to be a bomb it must contain an explosive.
If you are not aware of this fact then you are much too stupid for your job.

I hope the principle and the cops are required to stand in front of the school wearing signs reading "I AM AN IDIOT".

Alarm 16 September 2015 06:05 PM

That's a sad, sad story...

When the colour of a person's skin and a bunch of wires make one a "hoax bomb maker" and not a "tinkerer"

Like many commenters said, if he was a white kid, called John Smith, would the police have been called?
I think they would not.:(

Dr. Dave 16 September 2015 06:12 PM

This is why U.S. students can't keep up, let alone get ahead, in STEM.

jimmy101_again 16 September 2015 06:13 PM


Originally Posted by Dr. Dave (Post 1887695)
This is why U.S. students can't keep up, let alone get ahead, in STEM.

I suspect that isn't true. :p

thorny locust 16 September 2015 06:14 PM

The story's been updated. The police are, at least, not going to charge him.

However, according to the story, in the conference in which they announced it, they also said


officers determined it was "a hoax bomb"
Um, no. Just because you leapt to the conclusion that anything with wires attached could reasonably be taken for a bomb doesn't mean that it was a hoax bomb. It was a clock.

Dr. Winston O'Boogie 16 September 2015 06:15 PM

From the article,

As a result, he said, no charges will be filed against Ahmed, and "the case is considered closed." He also said "the reaction would have been the same regardless" of the student's skin color.
[sarcasm]Yeah, we would have reacted that way to anyone named Ahmed Mohamed.[/sarcasm]

FullMetal 16 September 2015 06:53 PM

now the question is will he get his clock back?

Cervus 16 September 2015 07:04 PM

I hope he will, since the President would like to see it:


"Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?," @POTUS tweeted. "We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great."

Singing in the Drizzle 17 September 2015 01:25 AM

There are so many much easier ways make simple timers for setting off explosive than building your own clock.

diddy 17 September 2015 02:06 AM

I think the idea that it wasn’t actually a clock, just a bomb that was disguised as a clock. I am betting that in these guys’s ideas of bombs are not all that sophisticated and they really don’t know what real bobs look like or how they work.

You wouldn’t even need a clock since there are probably a ton of ways to get a bomb to detonate. And even if you wanted to use a timer based one, you would can just get a cheap kitchen timer that costs 5 bucks and would likely be far more reliable.

Singing in the Drizzle 17 September 2015 03:13 AM

Here's how a Texas school explained arresting a 14-year-old Muslim boy for making a clock

This arrest, clearly, should never have happened. But one would like to expect at least that the Irving school, after just a cursory glance at the clock and maybe a conversation with Mohamed's engineering teacher, who had praised the project, would realize its mistake. That the school would apologize to Mohamed for humiliating and terrorizing him, acknowledge its mistake, and use it as a teaching moment to discuss racism and profiling.

That is not what has happened. Instead, even after learning that the clock was just a clock built as an educational project, the school suspended Mohamed for three days and sent out this letter to parents on Tuesday:

erwins 17 September 2015 03:59 AM

There is so much wrong with this that I can only shake my head.

On the plus side, they're doing a lot of things to make the chances improve for suing the pants off them.

BoKu 17 September 2015 07:25 AM

Thought better of it waffles.

Richard W 17 September 2015 08:08 AM

Nobody gets this, do they? It was a clock. Clocks control time, and time is eventually going to kill everybody. He was trying to kill everybody. That's a lot worse than a bomb!

Coughdrops 17 September 2015 08:20 AM

Remember when students being suspended for sharing an inhaler with another student who was having an asthma attack used to be the height of school official paranoia and incompetence? Remember how we thought it couldn't get any more stupid and nonsensical? Oh how naive we were.

Sultana of Beetroot 17 September 2015 09:54 AM

They seem like a very chilled family, Ahmed Mohammed's family offers pizza to crowd of waiting media at his home

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