Student Builds Clock, Is Cuffed for Bomb Hoax, and Ends Up Invited to White House

Peter Baker, Christine Hauser, New York Times, Sept 16, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It actually says in the New York Times that the boy who built a clock will not be charged. That must be a huge relief. On the bright side, he is being invited to the White House - a totally appropriate and necessary response to an unthinking and prejudiced action that could have left permanent scars. To their credit, most Twitter users are standing with Ahmed. As do I; a home-built clock is a fantastic project, exactly what we want to encourage from children, and people who think "bomb" when they see a young child should have their prejudices checked by a professional, because they are seriously impaired. See also Will Richardson, who keys in on this assertion from Mohamed: “Here in high school, none of the teachers know what I can do.” Says Richardson: "That just speaks volumes. And it begs the question, why are we ok with that?" Also, Alan Levine: "Our collective cycle of social ignorance/stupidity/racism/ goes sadly through another Lather Rinse (Do Not Learn from Mistakes) cycle."

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