Ahmed Mohamed, the ‘Clock Kid’ freshman from MacArthur High School in Texas, wants the city’s mayor and police chief to write him letters of apology. He is also seeking some monetary reparations for his ordeal – a lawsuit for $15 million is about to be filed. According to Mohamed’s attorneys, the 14-year-old’s problems were twofold: The high-schooler, who has since moved with his family to Qatar, had a Muslim name, and his homemade clock looked to some school administrators like a bomb.
Writes the Washington Post on Nov. 23: “Two months after ‘clock kid’ Ahmed Mohamed made international headlines, new details of his controversial arrest emerged Monday in a letter his attorney has sent to school and city officials in Irving, Texas.”
Instead of being noticed for his invention, he was arrested and later suspended for bringing a “hoax bomb” into school.
Mohamed claimed to invent a functioning clock using a circuit board, an old clock radio digital display and a metal case to house the unit. He brought it to school to show his engineering teacher, who praised the inventor but also cautioned him “not to show any other teachers,” evidently realizing that hyper-sensitivity in schools could lead to a misunderstanding of what Ahmed’s invention was.
When his invention “went off” in English class with a series of beeps, the teacher demanded to see what it was. Pulling out his device – with a time display and wires sticking out – the teacher told Ahmed and the other students that it “looks like a bomb,” and sent Ahmed to the principal’s office.
From there, the story went viral. Police came to the school, handcuffed Ahmed, and interviewed him for hours. His attorneys claim he was made to sign a written confession stating it was his intent to bring a device to school that looked like a bomb. The entire incident caused national outcry, even after Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said that Mohamed would not be charged with any wrongdoing. “We have no evidence to support that there was an intention to create alarm or cause people to be concerned,” Boyd said at the time.
Obama then invited Ahmed and his family to a meal at the White House. Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton and a host of others tweeted their support.
“I really don’t think it’s fair because I brought something to school that wasn’t a threat to anyone,” Mohamed told NBC. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I just showed my teachers something, and I end up being arrested later that day… They interrogated me and searched through my stuff and took my tablet and my invention. They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’ I told them ‘No, I was trying to make a clock.’”
Friends of Ahmed say he is “scarred for life,” and that the family was forced to flee Texas. His home address was posted on Twitter. People dubbed him a “little terrorist in training.”
“Everyone in the country and around the world believes this has been a wonderful experience for Ahmed’s family, and in some ways, it has been,” said Anthony Bond, a family friend. “But now they are settled in Qatar, they have realized they are tremendously traumatized.”
Adds the Post: “A week after the arrest, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne told Glenn Beck that another side of the story was not being told. She referred to the item as a ‘hoax bomb,’ not a clock, and said that Ahmed was not cooperative during questioning by police.”
“He told a lot more to the reporters than he ever told to the police,” Van Duyne said. “There’s a problem with that. If your child was in that school and you saw something like this come in, you would want to make sure it is our priority to make our children safe in school, period.”
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