A fourteen-year-old boy in Texas was suspended from school and arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school to show his teachers. He was obviously looking forward to showing them that he was good at things like this. So, he got arrested because his teachers thought it looked too much like a bomb and called the police?
When I was his age, I had an electronics set with the ability to make a rudimentary clock or calculator. No digital display, though. I enjoyed this kind of thing. I even took an electronics course in university. I could make both digital and analogue circuits, and one of the main things we did was make calculators.
Well, this kid, Ahmed, could do much more than that at fourteen years old. He’s good. He likes science and technology, it appears. This is sorely lacking in the United States these days as the anti-science and anti-intellectual movement pushes forward. He should be rewarded for taking an interest in technology and science, and he seemed quite enthusiastic about it. Enthusiastic enough to want impress his teachers, hoping that they’d praise him. That’s probably all he wanted. Validation. Instead, he gets handcuffed and taken to a juvenile detention centre.
The teachers admitted it didn’t look dangerous. The police admitted it looked nothing like a bomb. Yet they still arrested and suspended him for doing absolutely nothing wrong! If he is charged, this could have repercussions that go beyond just these punishments, but it could affect his future.
The good thing is that the #IStandWithAhmed hashtag has gone viral, and even President Barack Obama has invited him to the White House. How’s that for support? Obama thinks this is ridiculous. The police chief dropped the case, thankfully. And the school sent out a letter saying that there was no danger. However, Ahmed needs apologies from his teachers. He deserves those apologies, and those teachers should be required to apologise for being complete assholes. And since when is a science project, though all on his own, a prohibited object. I had no idea kids weren’t allowed to bring any timepieces to school.
But still, I can’t help but worry about how society in the US, as well as Canada (though in Canada, it’s more the conservative government rather than the people), has become so anti-science. Stupidity and ignorance is on the rise.