Muslim Boy Withdraws from School that Handcuffed Him over Homemade Clock
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The family of a 14-year-old Muslim student who got in trouble over a homemade clock mistaken for a possible bomb withdrew the boy from his suburban Dallas high school.
Ahmed Mohamed's father, Mohamed El-Hassan Mohamed, said Monday he has pulled all of his children from their Irving Independent School District schools. Mohamed said the family is still deciding where to send the children to school.
Ahmed has said he brought the clock he made to MacArthur High School in Irving last week to show a teacher. Officials say he was arrested and handcuffed after another teacher saw it and became concerned. Ahmed wasn't charged, but he was suspended from school for three days.
"Ahmed said, `I don't want to go to MacArthur,' Ahmed's father said, adding, "These kids aren't going to be happy there," The Associated Press reported.
News of the arrest sparked an outpouring of support for Ahmed. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said he is Muslim and the case serves as an example of the climate of hate and manufactured fear around the religion.
As word spread that Ahmed Mohamed had been placed in handcuffs after coming to class with the clock that officials at his suburban Dallas school thought resembled a bomb, the teen became a star on social media, with the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed tweeted more than 1 million times by Wednesday night.
Many also took to social media to criticize police and officials at MacArthur High School, suspecting them of overreacting because of the boy's religion. Officials claim the boy's religion was not a factor.
The turmoil surrounding Ahmed's case has had a harmful effect on the teen, Mohamed said, adding that his son has lost his appetite and is not sleeping well.
"It's torn the family and makes us very confused," Mohamed said.
Numerous schools have offered to enroll Ahmed, his father said. But Mohamed said he wants to give his son a breather before making a decision. He said his entire family plans to fly to New York on Wednesday, where United Nations dignitaries want to meet his son. Then, if the appropriate visas can be obtained, Mohamed wants to take his son on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
"I ask Allah to bless this time. After that, we'll see," Mohamed said.
When they return, a visit to the White House and a meeting with Obama is in the works, he said.