A homemade alarm clock built out of an extraordinary choice of materials got the 14 year old Ahmed Mohamed suspended from his suburban Dallas high school. He was detained and handcuffed by police officers after the school officials accused him of making a fake bomb.
He made the clock out of a metal briefcase-style box, a digital display, wires and a circuit board. It was bigger and bulkier than a typical bedside clock, with cords, screws and electrical components.
Ahmed Mohamed, who lives in Irving and has a keen interest in robotics and engineering, put the device together on Sunday night. When he took it to school the next day, he was pulled out of class, interviewed by police officers, and taken in handcuffs to juvenile detention, after being told by teachers that his creation looked like a bomb.
Officials at MacArthur High School in Irving alerted police because they thought the device was a "hoax bomb".
As a result, a 14-year-old freshman at MacArthur High School in Irving, Tex., who is partial to tinkering, technology and NASA T-shirts and wants to go to M.I.T., found himself in a social media whirlwind that reflected the nation's charged debates on Islam, immigration and ethnicity.
"I built a clock to impress my teacher but when I showed it to her she thought it was a threat to her. I'm very sad that she got the wrong impression of it," said Ahmed. According to reports, the 14 year old has announced plans to transfer schools.
Ahmed's father Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who is originally from Sudan, praised his son's ingenuity, saying he fixes everything around the house, including his father's phone and computer. "He's a very smart, brilliant boy and he said he just wanted to show himself to the world," he said.
The boy was placed in handcuffs and fingerprinted. He was released after it was determined there was no threat.
Questioning the act by Irving Police Department, social media platform like Twitter have praised the boy's initiative and have also shown concerns with the relationship of Muslims in the coutnry.
Among the Twitteratis, US President Barack Obama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Nasa scientists have supported Ahmed Clock.
"Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great," Mr Obama wrote on Twitter.
"This episode is a good illustration of how pernicious stereotypes can prevent even good-hearted people who have dedicated their lives to educating young people from doing the good work that they set out to do," said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary.
"Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed." "Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I'd love to meet you," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.