A Texas teenager was taken away from school in handcuffs after he brought a homemade clock to a Dallas area school this week and school staff mistook it for a bomb, the Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday.
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, told the newspaper he was arrested and accused of making a hoax bomb. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the student is Muslim and the case serves as an example of religious bigotry.
“My hobby is to invent stuff,” Mohamed, a student at MacArthur High School in the suburb of Irving, told the paper in a video it posted online. He showed the clock that had a digital display and a circuit board.
The new ninth-grader said he enjoys robotics and was looking to continue his interests as he started high school, so he showed the clock to a teacher.
Irving Independent School District officials were not immediately available for comment.
“They took me to a room filled with five officers,” Mohamed said. “They interrogated me, and searched through my stuff and took my tablet and my invention.”
He was handcuffed and taken to a detention center where he was fingerprinted and had mug shots taken, the paper said. He was freed when his parents came for him, and is not expected to face formal charges.
Mohamed has been suspended from school for three days, the paper said.
Police told the paper the student informed them the object was a clock, but a spokesman said it could be mistaken for something else.
“It made me feel like I wasn’t a human. It made me feel like I was a criminal,” Mohamed told the paper.