Ahmed Mohamed, Clock Boy, is now suing the City of Irving and its school district for $15 million for severe psychological trauma.
A quick summary of the situation:
- Ahmed disassembled a clock and placed the components into a suitcase pencil box
- Ahmed brought the clock to school unannounced
- Ahmed showed multiple teachers
- A teacher told Ahmed his clock looked like a bomb and asked him to put it away
- The clock was plugged in and went off in his 6th period class
- Ahmed’s 6th period teacher reported him
- Ahmed was thoroughly questioned and arrested due to the incident
- Ahmed’s father, a political activist, and family made a public outcry claiming Muslim bigotry
Ahmed has since been praised for his “ingenuity” by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and even President Obama who extended an invitation to the White House. This kid is being made into a hero. But is Clock Kid really a hero?
Thoughts to consider:
- How often do young boys take things apart and put them back together? Would it be plausible to think that Ahmed was proud of being able transfer clock parts into a new case? And if so, is it plausible to think that he would want to show that off? Assuming that he’s hungry for positive feedback, is it plausible to think he plugged the clock in and purposely set an alarm to go off in his 6th period class for attention?
- With school shootings on the rise, would it be so far-fetched for a school to treat the issue seriously? Considering anything resembling a weapon (i.e. toy guns, etc.) are prohibited, should a clock inside a suitcase be treated differently? Even if it weren’t intended to look like a fake bomb, should it be tolerated in a classroom? After a teacher communicated to Ahmed that his clock resembled a bomb and was asked to put it away, should he be punished for keeping it out knowing it may be mistaken as one? Knowing this, why did Ahmed continue to take the clock out at each class?
- Would it be plausible to think that Ahmed purposely ignored a teacher’s request to put his clock away in order to gain attention, a new audience each classroom? Would any teen continue to publicly use an item described as a bomb after being asked to put it away?
- How plausible is it to think that Ahmed’s Father could have concocted the entire plan and gained the exact results that could fuel public outcry? Would it be more plausible to assume that Ahmed’s Father simply capitalized on the incident for his own public agenda?
- Would this scenario have turned out differently if Ahmed were a different religion or race? Should a clock that clearly looks suspicious be allowed in any classroom without causing concern?
- Should a student who unknowingly or knowingly brought a clock that resembled a bomb to school be arrested? Or should the situation be treated like other fake weapons in school and result in confiscation and student suspension?
- Can Ahmed even put a real clock together? Does removing the case of a clock and transferring the contents to a different case constitute as an invention? Why is Ahmed not being praised for creativity rather than ingenuity? Should we as society praise the effort more than the accomplishment (i.e. think participation trophies vs. earned first place trophies)?
It is clear that the school district and police department were poorly trained on this matter and owe Ahmed and his family an apology. However, I don’t believe there is any reason to believe that either party singled Ahmed out for being Muslim or Arab – their intentions were to punish a non-cooperating teen for knowingly causing disturbance with what he was aware to be a threatening looking object. For a no tolerance school district, we should be thankful the situation was addressed rather than overlooked and has created a real need for training to protect our children. Threats in schools are a real thing and thankfully North Texas will presumably receive proper training in light of this event. As for the $15 million dollar lawsuit, it will be a treat to see the true details of the incident unfold rather than skewed media portrayal we have received. If a true and reprehensible injustice has been committed, then Ahmed and his family are due monetary compensation. Also (addressing the elephant in the room), it’s great that Ahmed is an eager teen willing to experiment with electronics – but I hope that this incident propels him to truly dive into the science field rather than taking someone else’s “invention” (as he refers his device) and calling it his own.