When Ahmed Mohamed went to high school on Monday, September 14, to show his handmade digital clock to his friends and teachers, instead of receiving praise for his skills, he was handcuffed and arrested for the crime of creating a “hoax bomb.”
The absurdity of this event brings up questions like: would the school have reacted the same way had the boy not been Ahmed? And why is it so difficult to believe that a person of color is simply interested in engineering without any ulterior motive?
Firstly, as a student, I expect my teachers and my school to be a tool for me to progress my skills, intellect, and interests. The lack of support/encouragement from staff members can hold children (who have the potential and are desperate to learn) back. I cannot even fathom this situation where a person was deprived of the same positive learning environment offered to everyone else, simply because of the negative, unfounded stereotypes against him.
Secondly, as an aspiring brown engineer, this news saddens me even more because tech fields already face a high lack of diversity. Our goals should be to push a diverse group of children to pursue and peruse fields that lack representation. Our goals should not hinder any students from achieving their dreams and no student should be judged on the basis of a generalization.
And lastly, as a human being, I stand in solidarity with Ahmed and encourage him to continue pursuing his dreams and aspirations. No person should be treated unfairly for their religious beliefs, ethnicity, gender, etc. While the situation is saddening, we hope Ahmed will take up the offers by Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg to visit the White House and Facebook HQ. We would definitely love to hear his story and his path towards becoming an awesome engineer in the near future! Good luck Ahmed!
To learn more about Ahmed’s story, click here.