While MacArthur High School thought it was wise to have police handcuff 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for inventing a pencil case-turned-digital alarm clock, which the school mistook for a bomb, Google, Facebook, Hillary Clinton and the White House all think the homemade clock is cool and genius.
Ahmed took his very own invention to school on Monday to show his engineering teacher. His teacher, however, advised him to keep it hidden from other teachers, The Dallas Morning News reported. Indeed, when other teachers saw the invention, they alerted the police and insisted it was a hoax bomb. The frail, curious kid was then handcuffed by policemen. He was questioned by police and was about to be charged with making a false bomb. At one point, he was even denied a phone call to his father because police said he was under arrest. While no charges were filed against him and police decided to let him go instead, the damage has already been done.
A photo of Ahmed inside the police station with handcuffs on took social media by storm. Netizens slammed the school and the police for being “Islamaphobic.” Some said the school would have acted differently if Ahmed was a white kid, not a Muslim.
People instantly threw support for Ahmed, including President Barack Obama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and tech giant Google.
“Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great,” Mr. Obama tweeted in support of Ahmed.
“You’ve probably seen the story about Ahmed, the 14 year old student in Texas who built a clock and was arrested when he took it to school,” Zuckerberg posted.
“Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed. Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building,” Zuckerberg said.
“Assumptions and fear don’t keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building,” Clinton tweeted.
“Hey Ahmed- we’re saving a seat for you at this weekend’s Google Science Fair…want to come? Bring your clock!” a tweet from Google reads.
Speaking at press conference after the whole ordeal, Ahmed was a little shy. “I guess everyone knows I’m the one who built a clock and got into a lot of trouble for it. I built the clock to impress my teacher, but when I showed her, she was threatened by it,” the boy said as quoted by ABC News.
“I was really mad,” Ahmed said when asked about being handcuffed by police. “I was like, ‘Why am I here?’”
In another news conference, his father said Ahmed has a natural knack at fixing things. “He fixed my phone, my car, my computer. He is a very smart, brilliant kid,” Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed said.
The school’s spokeswoman, Lesley Weaver, said the media’s covering of the incident were all biased. She said all information “made public to this point has been very unbalanced.” She, however, denied to specify how the school handled Ahmed and stressed that the school is only “doing everything with an abundance of caution to protect all of our students in Irving.”