Mohamed is a maker and an inventor. He'd love to be on Shark Tank, a show where budding entrepreneurs show off their inventions to a panel of "sharks" in hopes of securing a high profile and wealthy investor to back their company or product. But instead of encouraging his curiosity, Mohamed's teachers had the student arrested and suspended him from school for three days.
President Barack Obama invited 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed to the White House
Eager to show off his talent for building things, Mohamed brought the clock he built over the weekend to school. Expecting praise or encouragement, Mohamed, dressed in a NASA t-shirt, was put in handcuffs and interrogated by police without a lawyer or his parents present. Like his teachers, local authorities suspected that Mohamed's homemade clock was either a bomb or intentionally made to look like one.
"I was really mad," Mohamed told The Dallas Morning News while looking at a photo of himself in handcuffs. The photo spread through Twitter like wildfire. "I was like, 'Why am I here?'"
I expect they will have more to say tomorrow, but Ahmed's sister asked me to share this photo. A NASA shirt! pic.twitter.com/nR4gt992gB— Anil Dash (@anildash) September 16, 2015
The picture of him in handcuffs and the story behind it went viral, leading to an outpouring of support on social media. It also caught the attention of high profile figures like President Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg.
"Cool clock, Ahmed, Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great," President Obama stated in a Twitter post.
Zuckerberg told Ahmed to "keep building" and invited him to visit Facebook's headquarters. Mohamed plans to take them both up on their offers. Meanwhile, the suspension stands as Mohamed looks for a new school to attend.