IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – His suspension is over, but Ahmed Mohamed did not return to school on Friday.
The 14-year-old student was arrested Monday after bringing a homemade clock to school. A teacher heard the device beeping and confiscated it from the teen. Authorities were then called to Macarthur High School in Irving as campus officials believed that the clock may have actually been a hoax bomb.
Police took Mohamed away from the school in handcuffs, but charges have been dropped.
Mohamed has said that he will not continue attending the high school. According to the Irving Independent School District’s student handbook, his parents must officially withdraw him from classes. The teen’s family has stated that they will consider other schools — possibly even some outside of the United States.
The teen’s father spoke at a prayer rally on Thursday night outside of Macarthur High School. He is hoping for more answers as to why his child was arrested, and is grateful for the outpouring of support from across the country. “What happened to my son doesn’t look like America,” stated Mohamed El-Hassan Mohamed. “It’s not something good. It’s not something right. It’s wrong.”
Community members spoke at Irving City Hall on Thursday as well. Chief Larry Boyd with the Irving Police Department said that he has already talked with concerned Muslim leaders. “They were enthusiastic,” he said, “and supportive of the idea that we will learn and build off of this, and continue this strong relationship.”
Police still have the homemade clock. Mohamed’s father hopes to pick it up on Friday.
Meanwhile, the support for Mohamed continues to grow. A petition with more than 15,000 signatures will be delivered to the Irving ISD on Friday. A group of concerned parents are behind the petition. It demands a public apology, and for Mohamed’s suspension to be removed from the school record.
Kathleen Thompson will be delivering the petition. She explained that she sees the Irving teenager in her two boys. “We want more students like Ahmed in Texas schools,” Thompson said, “creative minds, innovative minds, who are proud of their work, and we want to encourage that. We don’t want to encourage handcuffing children, because of a misunderstanding.”