Ahmed Mohamed, who was arrested for bringing a clock to school, was reportedly suspended on several prior occasions. In recent months, the Irving, Texas, teen gained widespread sympathy for his plight. However, a former teacher claims Mohamed has a history of behavioral issues.
On the morning of September 14, Ahmed walked into MacArthur High School with a clock — which he built over the weekend. The teen said he simply wanted to show the clock to his engineering teacher, as he was proud of his work.
As reported by Dallas News, the engineering teacher told the student his clock was “really nice.” However, he suggested Ahmed “not show it to any other teachers.”
The teen followed his engineering teacher’s advice and placed the clock inside his backpack. Unfortunately, it started making beeping noises during his English class.
According to Ahmed, he decided to show the clock to his English teacher — as it had disrupted her class. When he pulled the device out of his backpack, the teacher told him it looked like a bomb.
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) September 29, 2015
Although the teen explained that it was actually a homemade clock, the teacher was not impressed. She confiscated the device before allowing Ahmed to proceed to his next class.
During sixth period, Ahmed Mohamed was called to the principal’s office, placed in handcuffs, and taken into custody. He was accused of bringing a device to school — which resembled a homemade bomb. In addition to being placed in a juvenile detention center, the teen was suspended from school for three days.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 22, 2015
The news about the teen’s arrest hit social media and went viral within hours.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 27, 2015
Although it is unclear why the school contacted authorities and had the Ahmed arrested, many believe he was a victim of discrimination and racial profiling.
As they are from Sudan, the teen and his family are Muslim. Guardian journalist Linda Sarsour, who is also Muslim, suggested Ahmed’s was singled out because of his nationality and religion.
“The only plausible explanation for a teacher at a school chartered for innovation to respond to a student’s invention with incarceration is that the student was Sudanese American and Muslim, and the teacher, like many Americans, had been saturated with anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia.”
Many others echoed Sarsour’s concerns and expressed their support through social media sites, including Twitter. As reported by CNN, the teen’s supporters included President Barack Obama, Google Science Fair, Pharrell Williams, and Joe Rogan.
Although Ahmed Mohamed has received an outpouring of sympathy and support, the teen’s former teacher claims he has a history of behavioral issues and school suspensions.
In an interview with Dallas News, retired history teacher Ralph Kubiak describes Ahmed as “weird.” Although he applauds the young man’s creativity and ingenuity, Kibiak said “sometimes it got to be a little much.”
By law, the teen’s school disciplinary record is sealed. However, Ahmed Mohamed was reportedly suspended from school on numerous occasions for different infractions, including disruptive behavior.
Overall, Kubiak said he admires the teen’s “thirst for knowledge” and he wishes him the best. The retired teacher suggests Ahmed was probably acting out because he was “a little boy in a new environment.”
MacArthur High School officials insist the teen’s arrest was not the result of discrimination or racial profiling. They contend they were acting in the best interest of all students by enforcing safety standards.
Although his suspension is over, Ahmed Mohamed and his family decided he will not be returning to the Irving, Texas, school.
[Image via Ben Torres/Getty Images]