You might expect teachers to encourage the efforts of students who take a shine to science and indulge their imagination in creative projects. In Texas, that could get you arrested.
Ahmed Mohamed, a 14 year old student at Irving MacArthur High School, Irving, was led away from school in handcuffs and detained after bringing a home-made clock to show teachers, some of whom assumed he had created a bomb and alerted local police.
Evidently, they got it very wrong indeed. Many have concluded Ahmed was the victim of profiling and discrimination on account of him being Muslim. Solidarity and support with the teenager has poured in over the internet under the #IStandWithAhmed hashtag. Even President Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg have weighed in to defend him on social media.
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.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
On his Facebook page Zuckerberg added:
Mohamed’s arrest triggered an outpouring of support, condemnation and outrage for the behaviour of the school and local authorities. His father suspects that, because his name is Mohamed and because of September 11th, his son was mistreated.
Although he was detained and his computer seized, no charges were eventually brought against him.