Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was so excited about building his own electric clock that he brought it to school to show his engineering teacher – and he was promptly arrested because other teachers thought he was a crazy terrorist with a bomb.
If you’ve been anywhere near the internet at all today, you know that people are furious over images of the teenager – a nice, nerdy looking kid in a NASA tee shirt – being detained by police and handcuffed, a moment that he later said made him feel like he wasn’t human.
The backlash has been big news all day, with #IStandWithAhmed on the top of the Twitter trends list. Millions of people have been using this hashtag, including a bunch of celebrities; and President Obama himself (or one of his staffers, anyway) responded:
Meanwhile, the principal of MacArthur High School, Dan Cummings, sent a note to all the students’ parents. It does not admit any wrongdoing and insists that student safety is their top priority. “I recommend using this opportunity to talk with your child about the Student Code of Conduct and specifically not bringing items to school that are prohibited. Also, this is a good time to remind your child how important it is to immediately report any suspicious items and/or suspicious behavior they observe.”
Oh, and here’s yet another awkward detail that Reddit has uncovered: the boy’s father, Sudanese immigrant Mohamed Elhassan, twice declared himself a presidential candidate in Sudan on a platform advocating for women’s rights, freedom of the press and fighting terrorism.