September 16, 2015
CONTACT: Tom Hargis, Director of Communications, ACLU of Texas, [email protected], 713.325.7006

HOUSTON — On Monday September 14, Macarthur High School freshman Ahmed Mohamed was led away from campus in handcuffs and suspended for three days for bringing a home-made digital clock to school. An aspiring engineer and robotics enthusiast, Mohamed built the clock to demonstrate his engineering skills, but fell under suspicion when one of his teachers thought it looked like a bomb.

The following quote may be attributed to Terri Burke, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas:

“Ahmed Mohamed’s avoidable ordeal raises serious concerns about racial profiling and the disciplinary system in Texas schools. Instead of encouraging his curiosity, intellect and ability, the Irving ISD saw fit to throw handcuffs on a frightened 14 year-old Muslim boy wearing a NASA t-shirt and then remove him from school. We should not deprive our children of liberty when they haven’t broken the law, and we should not suspend them from school when they haven’t broken the rules. The State of Texas in general, and Irving ISD in particular, need to take a long, hard look at their disciplinary policies to ensure that blanket prejudices and the baseless suspicions they engender don’t deprive our students of an educational environment where their talents can thrive.”