Kid makes clock, leaves school in handcuffs

Raise your hand if your 14-year-old made a school project and wasn’t led away from school in handcuffs.

Ahmed Mohamed, a ninth grader, has a lot going for him — he’s whip smart, for one — but he also has the misfortune of living in a country that’s afraid of its shadow.

Mohamed, who makes his own radios, whipped up a clock in 10 minutes the other day, and then took it to his suburban Dallas school to show his teachers, the Dallas Morning News says.

It was a clock. He told everyone it was a clock. But he’s been suspended from school and the police may still charge him with making a hoax bomb.

The teacher kept the clock. When the principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period, he suspected he wouldn’t get it back.

They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”

Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion. But the police kept him busy with questions.

The bell rang at least twice, he said, while the officers searched his belongings and questioned his intentions. The principal threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement, he said.

“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.’”

Well there’s your problem, Bubba. You’ve spent too much of your life watching TV and movies.

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

What’s a broader explanation for a clock?

“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?”

Here’s a hint: Telling time.

The principal suspended him for three days.

We used to be proud of smart kids.

Related: Here’s how a Texas school explained arresting a 14-year-old Muslim boy for making a clock (Vox)