West Reacts to Arrest of Ahmed Mohamed



Irving MacArthur High School student Ahmed Mohamed, 14, poses for a photo at his home in Irving, Texas, on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. Mohamed was arrested and interrogated by Irving Police officers on Monday after bringing a homemade clock to school. (Vernon Bryant/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

By Sana Kadir

Growing up most kids had “show and tells” in their school. Children bring in something they’re proud of, a creation, or something symbolic to impress their teachers and classmates. When 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, a Muslim student from Irving, Texas, brought in his homemade clock into MacArthur High School he was arrested due to a teacher thinking it was a bomb. Many people nationally were outraged and even started a hashtag, #IStandWithAhmed, on social media in support of him.

Most students and faculty at Niles West said they were surprised by the actions of the staff at MacArthur and said they, too, support Mohamed.

“Ahmed showed his engineering teacher his clock, and then advised him not to show any other teachers. I find it alarming that everyone is looking past the fact that this teacher knew how other staff could be racist and instead of trying to fix that he discourages Ahmed from showing off his inventions because of obvious racial reasons.” said Timothy Sullivan, applied technology teacher and computer science teacher at Niles West.

Muslim students spoke out in support of Mohamed.

“Ahmed, keep doing you. I know this event was terrible but instances like these bring the whole Muslim world together and inspires us to achieve greatness. We can’t thank you enough for that. At age 14 you taught us that despite restrictions society gives us we can do great things. You’re a great role model to the young and old,” senior Sana Shariff said.

Many non-Muslim students agreed.

“I feel that it was unnecessary to go through the process of arresting him and then finding out that he’s innocent and had nothing to do with terrorism. I feel that although he was arrested for it, it gave him opportunities for his life in the future, and for him to keep doing what he loves to do,” sophomore Sam Paloma said.

Assistant principal Mark Rigby said he doubts something like what Mohamed went through would happen at West.

“Here number one you’d hope someone would look into it more without jumping to conclusions,” he said. “But you do get put in there on the spot, I mean I’ve been there as a dean, not something like this but you hear ‘Oh this is going on…’, and you’re not there to see it but you have to react to it. So if some teacher comes down and says a kid has a bomb in class, that requires you to look into it. Now does it require you to arrest him and detain him for hours? No.”