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Leonardo

Schoolboy Arrested for Making a Clock

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Leonardo
A 14-year-old boy was arrested by police in Texas after a homemade clock he wanted to show his school teachers was mistaken for a bomb.

Ahmed Mohamed told US media that he had made a clock at home and brought it into MacArthur High School in Irving to show his engineering teacher.

Another teacher saw it and, concerned it looked like a bomb, alerted school authorities who called the police.

His father fears the incident happened because of his son's Muslim background.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it is investigating the incident.

There was a strong reaction to the story on social media.

Ahmed Mohamed told the Dallas Morning News that he loved engineering and wanted to show his teachers what he could do.

source

The obvious questions that need to be asked surround whether the boy was profiled because of his Muslim background - what do you think?

Personally, I think yes, and that the whole sordid mess could have been avoided by asking a few questions of the right people - for example, his engineering teacher who could have confirmed the clock was just that. The boy being arrested, taken into custody and fingerprinted is an unbelievable over-reaction by heavy-handed muppets who do not think before acting. I hope the boy can sue, and win, but even more I despair at the culture of fear and prejudice that still seems to grip at least some parts of America even today.

Edited by Leonardo
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Leonardo

None of this would be an issue if we'd just ban clocks.

I endorse this idea! :tsu:

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Imaginarynumber1

None of this would be an issue if we'd just ban clocks.

If clocks are outlawed, only outlaws will have clocks.

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Imaginarynumber1

The obvious questions that need to be asked surround whether the boy was profiled because of his Muslim background - what do you think?

Of course it was. He's a Muslim so of course he's a terrorist making bombs.

If he were white he would have been congratulated on building a clock and were he black, the cops would have just shot him.

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questionmark

No doubt about it, but it seez something more about the school officials: they would not know a real bomb if they were sitting on it because they expect it to be a round ball, have a ticking clock and "BOMB" written all over it...

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Leonardo

Of course it was. He's a Muslim so of course he's a terrorist making bombs.

If he were white he would have been congratulated on building a clock and were he black, the cops would have just shot him.

And this is how the US (or any other nation) creates 'militants' out of ordinary citizens - by prejudicing against them. The day before this happened, Ahmed was thinking he was included and accepted, now he is thinking of how "white America" has downtrodden him for his Islamic name and background.

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Imaginarynumber1

And this is how the US (or any other nation) creates 'militants' out of ordinary citizens - by prejudicing against them. The day before this happened, Ahmed was thinking he was included and accepted, now he is thinking of how "white America" has downtrodden him for his Islamic name and background.

Welcome to 'Murica, Ahmed.

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Wickian

Hmm, what kinda clock are talking about here? A fancy digital clock, or one of those alarm bell clocks with a bunch of red and blue wires sticking out of them?

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Leonardo

Hmm, what kinda clock are talking about here? A fancy digital clock, or one of those alarm bell clocks with a bunch of red and blue wires sticking out of them?

There's a picture in the article, but it was a basic digital display and a circuit board.

Oh, and the (nonexistent) 1/2 pound of semtex wired to it, of course! :rolleyes:

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Hawken

And to think they want to outlaw guns. :gun:

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Michelle

I think people focus too much on ethnicity and what they perceive as racism. This isn't nearly as bad as the six year old white boy who was suspended from school for pointing his finger like a gun while playing. Zero tolerance has gone way overboard.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/06/6-year-old-fingers-shape-of-gun-suspended_n_6813864.html

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Leonardo

I think people focus too much on ethnicity and what they perceive as racism. This isn't nearly as bad as the six year old white boy who was suspended from school for pointing his finger like a gun while playing. Zero tolerance has gone way overboard.

http://www.huffingto..._n_6813864.html

With all due respect, Michelle, I cannot see how the incident with the young boy in Irving arrested for making a clock might only be "perceived" as racism?

It was racism, pure and simple. The mayor of Irving has riled up the population with rhetoric about how "Sharia Law is threatening the US" and has made her Islamophobic position more than apparent.

The comment alleged to be by one of the arresting officers "Yup, that's who I thought it was." (source, linked in my OP) whom had never met Ahmed before suggests very strongly it was by his name that the officer had "picked him out".

The insistence by the authorities that he still make a statement that he "made a hoax bomb" is not only designed to cover their embarrassment, but also an indication of the racism involved here.

Honestly, I don't know how you can conclude this isn't a case of racial or ethnic profiling?

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Michelle

In our post-Columbine world and in an understandable effort to ensure that schools are safe, schools enacted “zero tolerance policies” resulting in expulsions or suspensions for infractions involving weapons, drugs, or other violent acts. These policies were designed to ensure that schools respond harshly and consistently to serious student misconduct. With time, however, the list of violations for which zero tolerance applies has been broadened to cover acts involving defiance, noncompliance, or disrespect. These policies, when rigidly adhered to (and they often are), deny administrators the opportunity to consider any extenuating circumstances related to the incident, or in many cases, the application of plain common sense when meting out discipline. One report has dubbed zero-tolerance policies as “zero-thinking policies.”

And many students are suffering the consequences of zero tolerance. The Education Department’s civil rights office in 2006 reported that 3.25 million students, or 7% of K-12 students, had been suspended at least once. Of this number, only 102,000 were expelled, demonstrating the degree to which students are being suspended for minor violations. The national media have depicted how blatantly absurd some of these suspensions have become. We’ve all read stories of where administrators have overreacted to the poor judgments of students with mandatory expulsions or suspensions: the kindergartener who was suspended for bringing a toy ax to school as part of a Halloween costume, the 14-year-old boy scout who accidentally left a pocket knife in his book bag after a camping trip who was suspended for 80 days, the third grader suspended for drawing an armed soldier, the 8-year-old suspended for bringing a toy gun to school, the high schooler who forgets to remove a box cutter from her job from her purse that she takes to school, and the list goes on.

cont...

http://www.dignityinschools.org/news/when-zero-tolerance-goes-too-far

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Lilly

If the thing wasn't wired to explosives then it wasn't a bomb. What exactly is a 'hoax bomb' supposed to be? And, are 'hoax bombs' illegal?

This entire incident stinks to high heaven. I hope this young fellow sues the hell out of everyone involved in this.

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Hawken

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor their was bad feelings towards Japanese-Americans and they were put

in internment camps in fear of sabotage. I don't know about the case of the schoolboy with the clock but there is hate

towards muslims due to 9/11.

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Ashotep

The school overracted here and so did the police but how many times have they underreacted and cost kids their lives. I think you can blame ISIS and school shootings for this.

Lets face it kids do kill people. There's a guy in the news now that was planning on his mothers murder since he was 11.

As far as this being racist groups and people are often profiled when it comes to crimes. If an abortion clinic gets bombed you don't look for a black. Or when it comes to a sucide bombing chances are they aren't white. When child molestation by a church comes up you don't think about Muslims.

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Bama13

No doubt about it, but it seez something more about the school officials: they would not know a real bomb if they were sitting on it because they expect it to be a round ball, have a ticking clock and "BOMB" written all over it...

Well if they expected it to "be a round ball, have a ticking clock and "BOMB" written all over it" then why in the world would have thought this young mans clock was a bomb? It doesn't even come close to your description of what they would be looking for. Also glad to know that you know exactly how these school officials, whom you have probably never met, act and think. Must be nice to be omniscient.

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Leonardo

In our post-Columbine world and in an understandable effort to ensure that schools are safe, schools enacted “zero tolerance policies” resulting in expulsions or suspensions for infractions involving weapons, drugs, or other violent acts. These policies were designed to ensure that schools respond harshly and consistently to serious student misconduct. With time, however, the list of violations for which zero tolerance applies has been broadened to cover acts involving defiance, noncompliance, or disrespect. These policies, when rigidly adhered to (and they often are), deny administrators the opportunity to consider any extenuating circumstances related to the incident, or in many cases, the application of plain common sense when meting out discipline. One report has dubbed zero-tolerance policies as “zero-thinking policies.”

And many students are suffering the consequences of zero tolerance. The Education Department’s civil rights office in 2006 reportedthat 3.25 million students, or 7% of K-12 students, had been suspended at least once. Of this number, only 102,000 were expelled, demonstrating the degree to which students are being suspended for minor violations. The national media have depicted how blatantly absurd some of these suspensions have become. We’ve all read stories of where administrators have overreacted to the poor judgments of students with mandatory expulsions or suspensions: the kindergartener who was suspended for bringing a toy ax to school as part of a Halloween costume, the 14-year-old boy scout who accidentally left a pocket knife in his book bag after a camping trip who was suspended for 80 days, the third grader suspended for drawing an armed soldier, the 8-year-old suspended for bringing a toy gun to school, the high schooler who forgets to remove a box cutter from her job from her purse that she takes to school, and the list goes on.

cont...

http://www.dignityin...ce-goes-too-far

Michelle,

I am not saying thsoe other incidents were not ridiculous instance of over-reaction - what I am saying is there is definitely an element of racism in the case of Ahmed and his home-built clock. As for "zero-tolerance", a digital display and circuit board are not weapons, nor was Ahmed making any "threatening gestures". The engineering teacher knew it wasn't a bomb, and there was nothing to indicate it was to anyone else.

Ahmed constantly insisted it was a clock, and I suspect if Ahmed had been a non-Muslim called Peter, Steve or Robert (etc) he would have been believed and no furore would have eventuated.

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Imaginarynumber1
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Grandpa Greenman

There is a war on science in the US. Taking an interest in science and technology is not permitted. It will make you too smart and less able for the powers that be to control you. :ph34r:

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LV-426

Well, I guess Ahmed will think twice before volunteering for the school garden project, with all those spare bags of fertilizer lying around and all...

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supervike

With all due respect, Michelle, I cannot see how the incident with the young boy in Irving arrested for making a clock might only be "perceived" as racism?

It was racism, pure and simple. The mayor of Irving has riled up the population with rhetoric about how "Sharia Law is threatening the US" and has made her Islamophobic position more than apparent.

The comment alleged to be by one of the arresting officers "Yup, that's who I thought it was." (source, linked in my OP) whom had never met Ahmed before suggests very strongly it was by his name that the officer had "picked him out".

The insistence by the authorities that he still make a statement that he "made a hoax bomb" is not only designed to cover their embarrassment, but also an indication of the racism involved here.

Honestly, I don't know how you can conclude this isn't a case of racial or ethnic profiling?

Well, from the account I just read, the clock went off in another class.

The teacher asked to see what it was, and Ahmed said "Ok, but it kinda looks like a bomb".

The teacher confiscated it, and then I'm assuming, told the principal and the authorites.

I understand the perceived racism, but put yourself in the teachers shoes. An overreaction indeed, but teachers and school staffs are scared silly by any threat of even perceived violence. Doing nothing may have cost this teacher their job.

To me, if this account I read is accurate, I wouldn't care what race the student was, they would have to take it seriously.

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BiffSplitkins

When it comes to building a clock that looks like a bomb, timing is everything. :whistle:

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J. K.

Was racial profiling used in this situation? We'll never know without interviewing the personnel involved. Did the school over-react? Possibly.

During my first year of teaching, I had my computer students create a "business" that they could use as a basis for class projects. One student created Custom Explosions, specializing in pyrotechnic effects. My first reaction was one of unease, but I gave the student the benefit of doubt and didn't address the potential issue. Six weeks later, he was arrest for taking a home-made firework into a public gathering. I will always wonder if I could have changed that situation by following up on my initial feeling.

Our reality is that we live in a world where some students have killed other students. It can happen anywhere. We can't ignore the problem and think that it could never happen to us. We can't be complacent about it.

Where do you draw the line between over-reaction and safety?

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