Snippet: Clock or Bomb? ☇

Shared on September 16, 2015

Avi Selk for The Dallas Morning News shares an awful variation of Robot or Not?:

Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High on Monday.

Instead, the school phoned police about Ahmed’s circuit-stuffed pencil case.

So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and took a trip in handcuffs to juvenile detention. His clock now sits in an evidence room. Police say they may yet charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.

After reading this, I had a few thoughts. There is an obvious discrimination aspect to this. While that itself is infuriating and may actually draw the most attention to this situation, I saw some similarities to stories I’ve heard at some other high schools—any time a student does something outside of the norm for that particular school, especially be it being ingenious or curious or appearing different, they’re immediately labelled as a threat. Some of this is overzealous administrators and the post-Columbine thought that anything that is different is a threat to the safety of other students.

I’m more bothered by the fact that nobody seemed to look at the context that Ahmed Mohamed appears to be a good student that is very involved, and that his engineering teacher couldn’t or didn’t vouch for him. Besides that, what message is that sending a student? Don’t try to get creative outside of school and make things, especially if, meshed with your ethnicity, could cause morons to assume the worst. I hope this doesn’t discourage him and he continues to try to learn more on his own, especially since it sounds like he’s not getting it at MacArthur High.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.