Childrearing

Racist Idiots Arrest 9th Grader For Building A Clock

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Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 17.39.39 Teachers of Mommyish, what would you do if a 9th grader brought a handmade digital clock to you? You’re probably thinking that you would say something like, “Good job, kid!” Or “Way to go, sport!” But before you jump to the conclusion that a 14-year-old building a digital clock is pretty cool, let’s stop and imagine the child is not white and that the teacher in question is a racist idiot. Now what happens? The 14-year-old gets arrested for building a “fake bomb,” and dragged out of school in handcuffs even though he told everyone that the device was a clock, and racism is the only possible reason for thinking it is anything but a clock.

That actually happened this week when 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High in Irving, Texas, on Monday to impress his new teachers. Mohamed is a smart kid who builds his own radios and was active in the robotics club in middle school, but he just started at a new high school and figured his new teachers wouldn’t know about his engineering interests. In order to impress them and show off his engineering skills, he decided to build something. Monday, he showed up at school with a functioning digital clock built in a pencil case.

According to Dallas News, “He said he threw it together in about 20 minutes before bedtime on Sunday: a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display, all strapped inside a case with a tiger hologram on the front.”

Mohamed showed the clock to his engineering teacher, but got a much different response than he expected.

“He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” Mohamed said. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’”

Mohamed put the clock back in his bag until English class, when its alarm went off and annoyed the teacher. To explain the disturbance, he brought it up to show her after class. That’s when things got weird, and extremely racist.

The English teacher said the device looked like a bomb. Mohamed said it was a clock, but the English teacher said she was keeping it anyway. Later, Mohammed was hauled out of class and taken in front of five police officers.

Mohamed said he explained that the device was a clock, but he was handcuffed, fingerprinted, and sent to juvenile detention anyway. Police say they might still charge him with making “hoax bomb” even though he never indicated that it was anything other than a clock.

 “We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” said police spokesman James McLellan. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”

I’ve had to rewrite this sentence five or six times to delete the word “motherfucking,” but I just can’t do it. Journalistic integrity requires me to say that the “broader explanation” is that it was a motherfucking clock. 

In a gross miscarriage of justice, Mohamed is still suspended. The principal suspended him for three days for bringing a clock to school. Police even say they are “still investigating,” the case, though what more they could possibly be investigating is unclear, considering that everyone involved says it is a clock and Mohamed never said anything to the contrary.

This situation is obscene. Mohamed says he’s vowed never to bring an invention to school again, and that is a shame because he is obviously a very smart who should have a bright academic future ahead of him. The MacArthur High science program is going to lose a lot if Mohamed does not feel safe building clocks and robots and go-karts, but he’s a smart kid and that sounds like a smart decision, because it sounds like his school is staffed with racist idiots.