Saturday, September 19, 2015

I stand with Ahmed...

Like so many other Americans, this week I heard the story of 14 year old Ahmed Mohamed of Irving, Texas.  Ahmed made a clock and took it to school.  Because his English teacher thought the clock was suspicious looking and resembled a bomb, she raised the alarm.  The cops came and Ahmed was arrested.  A photo of him in handcuffs with a shocked and bewildered look on his face then circulated the Internet and the court of public opinion came to order.

Yesterday, I shared this news article about Ahmed's decision not to go back to his high school.  I wasn't expecting it to get the attention it ultimately did.  One woman wrote that she doesn't believe we're getting the whole story about Ahmed and his clock.  She thinks this whole thing may have been a set up in order to promote Ahmed's father's political career in their native Sudan.  I honestly don't know about that.  I never wrote a word abut Ahmed's race or religion and never implied that what happened to him couldn't have happened to anyone.

I think my reaction was more disgust based on the lack of common sense and discernment people seem to have nowadays.  I understand where it comes from, given how much violence is perpetrated through terrorism and people not being vigilant enough about shady characters.  I get that a lot of people are genuinely afraid of Muslims and I can't even say that their fear is totally unwarranted.  However, when I gaze at Ahmed, who appears to be a really good and smart kid, looking horrified and scared in a pair of handcuffs, I can't help but think that the way this situation was handled was just wrong.

Of course, since Ahmed is now the cause du jour (for the next week or so, anyway), his mishap with the homemade clock may turn out to be a boon for his future.  He's been invited to the White House and to tour his dream school, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.  Will he ultimately have the chance to attend those schools?  I don't know.  A lot can happen in one's teen years.  I do hope that this incident doesn't cause him to go a different way.  I hope that he will continue to be smart and invent things.  I hope he will get the chance to do something exciting with his life.  That's all.

I hope that policymakers can look to this case as an example of where using common sense and discernment is the best way to go.  From what I understand, the school wasn't even evacuated after the clock was discovered.  The bomb squad wasn't called.  If there was a real concern that Ahmed had brought a bomb to school, why didn't the school administrators take steps to protect the student body?

Above all... once again, I'm glad my school days are behind me and I don't have any kids in school.  Given how strict zero tolerance rules are these days, it's a wonder anyone sends their kids to public school.

Anyway... at least this drama has taken some of the focus off the Duggars, at least for the time being.


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