Teachers Mistake Muslim Student’s Invention for a Bomb

14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested at school because teachers thought his homemade clock was a bomb. The school’s actions remind us of stereotyping within the classroom & the negative consequences that come with it.



On Monday afternoon, 14-year-old high school student, Ahmed Mohamed made national headlines after being wrongly arrested.

The excited freshmen and engineering aspirant entered the classroom with a self-created digital clock made from a pencil case. Unfortunately, his excitement was not met with praise. Ahmed’s teacher mistook the invention and called the police, ending in an arrest. A photo of Ahmed in a NASA t-shirt and handcuffs has since gone viral along with the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a young and intelligent person of color has been targeted, degraded, and stereotyped. In 2013, 16-year-old Kiera Wilmont’s harmless science experiment resulted in an arrest and criminal charge of “possession of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device.”

Stories like these lead to the bigger picture of stereotyping within the classroom and Penn State isn’t excluded.

University Park reports a student body made up of 6% African-Americans, 5.9% Asian American, 5.9% Hispanic, and 7.6% international students. With this diversity, negative race-oriented experiences within the classroom have still occurred.

As multicultural students, it’s likely that we’ll experience similar situations like Ahmed’s. Take pride in your work – you should never be handcuffed or interrogated for exploring the things that the world has to offer.

About Candice Crutchfield (20 Articles)
Candice is an occasionally stressed out college student and aspiring lawyer from northern Virginia. The African-American student-turned-social-justice-advocate can be found reading about civil rights issues, ranting about millennial life, and starting Twitter conversations with Soledad O’Brien. After being many people’s only black friend, she gained an interest in establishing diverse and accepting communities. A media junkie of sorts, she can also be found writing for Blavity, binge watching TV shows, and taking endless pictures of food for her Instagram account. Email her: candice@undergroundvoices.co

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