IRVING, Texas (CBS News) — Police detained a 14-year-old Muslim boy after a teacher at his North Texas high school decided that a homemade clock he proudly brought to class looked like a bomb, according to school and police officials.
The family of Ahmed Mohamed said the boy was suspended for three days from MacArthur High School in the Dallas suburb of Irving after taking the clock to class on Monday.
The boy makes his own radios, repairs his own go-kart and on Sunday spent about 20 minutes before bedtime assembling a clock using a circuit board, power supply wired to a digital display and other items, The Dallas Morning News reported.
On Monday, Ahmed showed the clock to his engineering teacher and then another teacher after the clock, which was in his backpack, beeped during class. That teacher told him that it looked like a bomb, the newspaper reported.
Ahmed was later pulled from class and brought before the principal and Irving police officers for questioning.
The school district said in a statement that Ahmed was detained by police. Irving police spokesman James McLellan told the Morning News that police are determining whether to file a charge of making a hoax bomb.
Soon after the incident, #IStandWithAhmed was trending on Twitter:
Even Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighed in on Twitter:
“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, told the newspaper. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is reviewing the matter.
“This all raises a red flag for us: how Irving’s government entities are operating in the current climate,” said Alia Salem, executive director of the council’s North Texas chapter.
Mohamed later sent a tweet thanking his supporters: