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The story of Ahmed Mohamed, arrested (and released) for building a clock
The 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed brought a home-built clock to school. Mistook for a bomb, he’s got arrested. US President Obama and Facebook founder Zuckerberg wrote to him.
Ahmed Mohamed is attending his first year at the MacArthur High School of Irving, Texas. He’s 14 years old, he’s American, and he’s fond of space and engineering. He’s good at it, so that he can cope with software and electronic boards. In fact, last Monday, he took a home-built electronic clock to class.
But something went wrong. His English teacher became suspicious and called the police. Policemen arrived, seized the clock, and arrested him, since they thought it was a bomb. The images show an afraid and incredulous boy, taken away from school and arrested because the device was “certainly suspicious in nature,” said Irving’s Chief of police Larry Boyd in a press conference.
“I built a clock to impress my teacher but when I showed it to her, she thought it was a threat to her,” Ahmed told reporters Wednesday. “It was really sad that she took the wrong impression of it”. The follow-up investigation revealed the device apparently was a homemade experiment, said Boyd to local media, describing the incident as a “naive accident.”
“That is not America,” said Mohamed’s father of his son’s humiliation after being handcuffed in front of his classmates.
The power of social media. The news became popular, so that the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed gained success becoming a trending topic on Twitter.
Also US President Barack Obama was impressed by the events, and tweeted: “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.”
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) 16 Settembre 2015
Comments didn’t involve only Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post on his profile. “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed”. Zuckerberg then invited him to Palo Alto: “Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building.”
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