Following news that high school freshman Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade clock which police described as a “hoax bomb” onto campus, police declined to file charges and President Obama reached and invited Mohamed to bring his clock and visit the White House. Contrast that with the experience of an unnamed elementary school student who was threatened with expulsion–and ultimately pulled from the school–for drawing a picture of a Ninja holding a gun.
Or contrast Mohamed’s experience with that of the Washington state elementary school students who were suspended for bringing a Nerf gun to school. It was June 2013 when the New York Daily News reported that the students were suspended for violating the school’s “zero tolerance” on guns–Nerf or otherwise. Or consider the 7-year-old student whose parents had to hire a lawyer after the school threatened to suspend the child for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. CBS News reported that the incident occurred in March 2013–that the student chewed the Pop-Tart into just the right shape then said, “Look, I made a gun.”
But Ahmed Mohamed didn’t chew pop tarts or draw a gun or bring a Nerf toy to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. Instead, he brought a homemade clock–with electronics that spooked a teacher into thinking it might be a bomb–yet media reports focus on how he will deal with his new found fame rather than any punishment. In fact, The Dallas Morning News‘ story on Mohamed carried the headline, “Family Adjusting to Ahmed Mohamed’s Sudden Fame as Police Announce No Charges for Clock Deemed ‘Hoax Bomb’.”
According to the New York Daily News, Mohamed’s homemade clock came to a teacher’s attention when the alarm on the clock went off during English class. He pulled the clock out of his backpack to turn it off and the teacher confiscated it, believing it could be a bomb. Mohamed was subsequently “called into a meeting with the principal — and five police officers.”
Police were quick to announce that Mohamed would not face any charges and he now has an invitation to the White House and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has extended an invitation for him to visit Facebook headquarters as well. Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton also chimed in by tweeting, “Assumptions and fear don’t keep us safe — they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.