A 14-year-old Texas student was arrested after a homemade clock he wanted to show his school teachers was mistaken for a bomb.
Ahmed Mohamed told media that he had made a clock at home and brought it into MacArthur High School in Irving to show his engineering teacher.
Another teacher saw it and, concerned it looked like a bomb, alerted school authorities who called the police.
Ahmed Mohamed’s father fears the incident happened because of his son’s Muslim background.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it is investigating the incident.
There was a strong reaction to the story on social media.
Ahmed Mohamed told the Dallas Morning News that he loved engineering and wanted to show his teachers what he could do.
The boy said his engineering teacher had congratulated him but advised him “not to show any other teachers”.
Ahmed Mohamed said another teacher became aware of it when the device beeped during the lesson.
“She was like – it looks like a bomb,” the teenager said.
The homemade clock consisted of a circuit board with wires leading to a digital display.
Later in the day Ahmed Mohamed was pulled out of class and interviewed by the school’s principle and four police officers.
Police spokesman James McLellan said that, throughout the interview, Ahmed Mohamed had maintained that he built only a clock.
The school has not commented on the case, but issued a statement saying it “always ask our students and staff to immediately report if they observe any suspicious items”.
The boy’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who is originally from Sudan, said his son had been mistreated because of his name “and because of September 11”.
Alia Salem of the Council on American-Islamic Relations agreed: “This wouldn’t even be a question if his name wasn’t Ahmed Mohamed. He is an excited kid who is very bright and wants to share it with his teachers.”