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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » Teenage Clockmaker Arrested For Bringing Project to School

Teenage Clockmaker Arrested For Bringing Project to School

clockmaker-bomb-irvingIf you use the internet regularly, you’re probably aware of the recent outcry on social media related to the kid in Texas who got arrested for bringing a clock to school because it “looked like a bomb.” Ahmed Mohammad, freshman at an Irving, Texas high school, left home Monday eagerly awaiting the moment when he’d get to show off a digital clock he himself invented to his teachers. Chances are he was fairly disappointed to get handcuffs instead of a handshake.

How… Did This Happen?

I’ll start with the clock. Ahmed made it from a pencil case, somehow. It honestly doesn’t scream “clock” in the traditional sense. It’s more of a circuitboard-looking kind of thing, with wires coming out into other electric parts. Is it understandable that a cursory glance might cause a person today to instinctually think about bombs? Don’t we see cirtcuitboard-looking bombs in Daniel Craig movies all the time? Aren’t we currently in the midst of a War on Terror? Sure! But despite modern society’s acute sensitivity to bomb threats and stuff, SURELY we can also agree that “cursory glances” are not comprehensive.

According to reports, the idea of “bomb” sprung up when Ahmed’s clock alarm went off during class. The sound came from his backpack, where the clock was. Can you picture it? The Muslim kid’s bag starts beeping, he pulls out a circuitboard covered in wires, and the word “bomb” is immediately conjured. Not an optimistic assumption, but let’s be real, post 9/11 Hollywood has pretty much trained Americans to make that connection. Unfortunately, all of Ahmed’s assurances that it was indeed just a clock were instinctively shrugged off — and while bombs are not a small deal, it’s hard to refute the likelihood that his name and appearance were the real catalysts in the decision to involve police authorities.

The Discrimination Problem

Let’s all heave a collective sigh and try to make sense of the elephant in the classroom here: Ahmed is a Muslim student. Suspected of crafting a bomb. It’s hard to put your finger on how exactly things went down because the headline offers a very tempting answer to that question: racial profiling. We all know the news industry is a swarm of hyenas when it comes to fat, juicy zebra stories with that tagline. Twitter erupted, Facebook boiled over. It’s honestly very impressive if you haven’t heard about this by now.

Perhaps the most troubling part about situations like this is that no one can really say for sure what happened or whether the media’s rendition aligns with reality. So who’s word do we take? Ahmed’s? The police’s? The only thing anyone can really say for sure is something like, “It really isn’t acceptable behavior on behalf of the school and cops if they assumed Ahmed made a bomb because of his ethnicity.” But who knows what words were exchanged between students, teachers, police officers, parents, etc. Despite the fact that the hoax bomb accusation seems to be a nasty display of discrimination, the most productive response is one of reasoned discourse and not antagonization. Arguing on social media tends to just make people angry because they’re feelings are hurt.

Weapons in Tennessee Schools

Ahmed got in trouble for bringing a “hoax bomb” to school, according to Irving police overseeing the investigation. If these accusations were valid, then Ahmed would certainly be facing some consequences, and the same goes for citizens bringing hoax bombs onto school property in Tennessee. Any weapon of any kind on school property, whether exposed or concealed, qualifies as a Class E felony. Weapons, especially bombs, are never acceptable in school. It’s just a matter of knowing whether your suspicions related to such incidents are reasonable — in the case of Ahmed the clockmaker, this was not the case.

Hire Nashville Criminal Attorneys

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience dealing with criminal cases across a wide variety of circumstances. Whether you’re the victim of a threat related to carrying a weapon onto school or government property, or if you represent the accusing parties, we know the most efficient routes toward pursuing a satisfactory conclusion. Call today, or go online to set up your Free Initial Consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who is ready and waiting to make sure you get the justice you deserve.

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