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A Muslim Kid Got Arrested Because His Teacher Thought His Homemade Clock Was a Bomb

He repeatedly tried to explain to teachers and the police that the device was just a clock but wound up in handcuffs anyway.
September 16, 2015, 2:02pm

Read: How to Enjoy Pop Culture When You're Black

UPDATE: President Obama invited Ahmed to the White House:

And the mayor of Irving released this statement over Facebook:

On Monday, a 14-year-old student in Texas named Ahmed brought a homemade clock he built to school. His teachers had apparently been watching too much 24, because they looked at the blinking digital clock and mess of wires and assumed it was a bomb. They called the police, the police grabbed Ahmed, and Ahmed was arrested, reports the Dallas Morning News.

The device itself was just a circuit board attached to a digital clock display, all packed together inside a shiny tiger pencil case. If that doesn't sound like a bomb, it's because it isn't. It's a clock, which Ahmed repeatedly tried to explain to teachers and the police.

Ahmed's father, who is originally from Sudan, was understandably pissed off about his son's arrest. "He just wants to make good things," he told the Morning News.

Ahmed builds all sorts of stuff—he was in robotics club in middle school, he's put together homemade radios, and even fixes up his own go-kart. But Ahmed wanted to share his skills with the folks in high school, so he whipped up the fateful timepiece in 20 minutes last Sunday, hoping to impress. He didn't get the response he was looking for.

"[My teacher] was like, 'That's really nice,'" Ahmed said. "'I would advise you not to show any other teachers.'"

Unfortunately, the clock beeped later in the day, causing a different teacher to go off on him, claiming the clock was a disruption and that it looked suspiciously like a bomb. Ahmed disagreed, but the teacher still confiscated it. Ahmed was questioned by five police officers a few hours later.

Ahmed was suspended for three days for bringing the clock to school, but police said on Wednesday that no charges will be filed against him. Ahmed's story has received a great swelling of support on social media, including from Hillary Clinton, who tweeted, "Ahmed, stay curious and keep building."

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