Safety versus risk of ridicule


Texas teen Ahmed Mohamed was detained after a teacher believed he had brought a bomb to school. It turned out to be a clock in a suitcase.

Jacob Harp, Staff Writer

Recently there has been controversy surrounding the actions of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, a Muslim freshman at a public high school in Texas. Mohamed reportedly “invented” a clock, brought it to school in a briefcase look-alike (see where this is going?), and then was subsequently questioned by school officials and taken to a juvenile detention center. He was released the same day, and all charges were dropped.

Why all the fuss from the school officials? Answer: the “invention” looked like a potential bomb to the untrained eye. I use the word invention very liberally. This kid just took a manufactured clock out of its casing — that’s like getting credit for inventing a new iPhone for just removing the screen.

The media blew up with this story (pun intended) because they believe that this student — practically unknown to his new high school teachers at the time — was profiled for being Muslim. Now I am not going to argue that there isn’t religious profiling and outright persecution happening everywhere in the world today, but I will assert that it wasn’t the case in this instance.

Frankly, I’m tired of all of the new “experts” who are suddenly offering their opinions about how other people, especially law enforcement and teachers, ought to do their jobs. I honor these individuals for taking their precious time to share their infinite wisdom with us moronic and lackadaisical underlings who have no idea how to do the jobs for which we have been trained. I don’t know how our society could function without all of these new and underappreciated experts.

For the one teacher-education major that reads The Chart, have you taken your required “Handmade Bomb Recognition Class” yet? Why is the teacher that reported this incident being vilified as “Islamophobic?” The clock started beeping in class, and the instructor was subsequently alerted to its presence. When she saw what it was — admittedly, the device did look like a bomb — she reported it to school officials.

I do believe that officers went a little far in their questioning and detainment of Ahmed, but who am I to tell them how to do their jobs? They took the actions that they believed were necessary to ensure the safety of the high school, and they later released and dropped charges on Mohamed.

Here are two questions for you to ponder: Do we really want to create an environment where teachers and officers are scared to do their jobs because they risk being ridiculed by an extremely biased news media? Do we really want them to avoid reporting potential safety threats simply because the person in question belongs to a minority group?