Irving, Texas, teachers were alarmed when Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade clock to his engineering class. His experience earned praise from President Obama and an invitation to the White House.

Share story

IRVING, Texas — Police say they will not charge a 14-year-old Muslim boy whose teachers were alarmed when he brought a homemade clock to his Texas high school.

President Obama has invited the student to the White House after the teen was detained by police because teachers thought the clock looked like a bomb.

In a tweet posted Wednesday, Obama called Ahmed Mohamed’s clock “cool” and says more kids should be inspired like him to enjoy science, because “it’s what makes America great.”

Irving police Chief Larry Boyd said during a news conference Wednesday that Ahmed Mohamed will not be charged with possessing a hoax bomb because there’s no evidence that he meant to cause any harm.

Boyd says the clock that Ahmed built looked “suspicious in nature.”

Ahmed’s family says high-school administrators in the Dallas suburb of Irving on Monday suspended the teenager for three days after he showed the clock to teachers.

School district spokeswoman Lesley Weaver says officials were concerned with student safety and not the boy’s Muslim faith.

The boy makes his own radios, repairs his own go-cart and on Sunday spent about 20 minutes before bedtime assembling a clock using a circuit board, power supply wired to a digital display and other items, The Dallas Morning News reported.

On Monday, Ahmed showed the clock to his engineering teacher and then another teacher after the clock, which was in his backpack, beeped during class. That teacher told him that it looked like a bomb, the newspaper reported.

Ahmed was later pulled from class and brought before the principal and Irving police officers for questioning.

The school district said in a statement that Ahmed was detained by police. Irving police spokesman James McLellan told the Morning News that police were determining whether to file a charge of making a hoax bomb.

“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, told the newspaper. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is reviewing the matter.

“This all raises a red flag for us: how Irving’s government entities are operating in the current climate,” said Alia Salem, executive director of the council’s North Texas chapter.