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United States Hardware Hacking

Obama Invites Texas Teen To White House After "Bomb" Clock Incident At School 657

The Grim Reefer writes: In a followup to this morning's story about the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb, President Obama has invited the teen to the White House via Twitter. The President tweeted: "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great." The Irving Independent School District in Irving, Texas sent an email to parents about the incident asking students to: "immediately report any suspicious items and / or suspicious behavior."
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Obama Invites Texas Teen To White House After "Bomb" Clock Incident At School

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    will the tsa / SS let him take the device in?

  • by slart42 ( 694765 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @04:50PM (#50535815)

    Now, if there is any good chance to smuggle a bomb into the white house, this is it.

    • Gofundme (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bangular ( 736791 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @04:56PM (#50535853)
      Where's the gofundme? After being punished so badly for doing everything right, I think the wealthier geeks in the world could have 4 years of college paid for in a few days.
    • Damn, that was his plan all along!

    • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @08:37PM (#50537515) Homepage Journal

      There were lots of terrorists involved in this incident. The terrified child vowed never to bring another invention to school.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdflat. c o m> on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @04:58PM (#50535879) Journal

    From the original story, the kid vowed... note, *VOWED*... to never bring another invention to school again.

    Admittedly the vow was probably made prematurely, but people who are of the sort to make vows in the first place are not the sort to break them simply because their circumstances might change.

    • America (Score:5, Funny)

      by bangular ( 736791 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @04:59PM (#50535891)
      So let me get this straight, this kid is being arrested and Trump is leading the polls?
    • by slazzy ( 864185 )
      Even if he never brings another invention to school, hopefully meeting the president will inspire him to keep inventing at home at least.
      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        True.... but much of the fun that comes from doing that sort of thing comes from also being able to show your peers what you built.
  • This is "tell a grownup" territory vs the schools helping teach teenagers (which need guidance, just like some of us adults need from time to time) on what is appropriate or not. This will obviously be a trigger story for people in the tech community that feel sensitive to this issue or raw because of bullying they received and why some of us have trouble trusting school judgement as grown men and women.

    I just wish they handled this privately with the parents without dragging the liason officer into the mi

    • Re:Like a grownup (Score:5, Informative)

      by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:04PM (#50535935)

      They would not let him call his father when the police questioned him. This is a direct violation of his and his parents rights. It's illegal to question a minor without their guardian present. I really hope everyone is telling their kids out there to refuse to answer questions in such a situation without their parents present.

      The police department and school district are going to be paying his family some serious money once the lawsuits are filed. I dare say he won the lottery with this highly illegal and stupid treatment.

      • Re:Like a grownup (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LVSlushdat ( 854194 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:17PM (#50536079)

        Its just sad that that payout is gonna come from the taxpayer, NOT the idiots who perpetrated this. Theres a large number of people involved with this that should be behind bars, and have their pay garnished for the rest of their life to pay this kid for this...

        • Re:Like a grownup (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bmo ( 77928 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:24PM (#50536147)

          Its just sad that that payout is gonna come from the taxpayer, NOT the idiots who perpetrated this.

          Good. Because the part of the school that sets policy is the fucking school committee, elected by the public.

          Elect morons to the school committee which does important things like set the budget and hire administration and you get stupid policies like this.

          Stupid should hurt.

          --
          BMO

      • No, kids should learn if they did something wrong they should know when to detect an illegal interrogation, and then tell them right away where all the other evidence is so that when the fruits of that interrogation get thrown out, all the evidence will too.

        Oh, wait, maybe that was a different moral lesson.

        I grew up on both sides of the tracks.

    • Re:Like a grownup (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SecurityGuy ( 217807 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:08PM (#50535981)

      This will obviously be a trigger story for people in the tech community that feel sensitive to this issue

      Sure. I'm "sensitive to this issue" because I saw the same sort of stupid abuse of authority, albeit in a minor way. Abuse of authority should get pushback. People make mistakes, and that's fine, but the people who screwed this up should have been told to knock it off before the kid was disciplined.

      I just wish they handled this privately with the parents without dragging the liason officer into the mix, the local police, etc.

      It should have ended almost immediately. Teacher suspects a bomb, someone competent determines it's a clock, everyone goes about their business, parents get a courtesy call to let them know what happened.

    • Re:Like a grownup (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bmo ( 77928 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:16PM (#50536073)

      I just wish they handled this privately with the parents

      You're talking as if he still did something wrong.

      He made a "my first EE project" - something he should have been praised for. But instead even the teacher he initially showed it to (a geek like the rest of us) basically said "hide it."

      The problem with this is that none of the adults involved in this stupidity outside of the parents and Obama, acted like adults.

      And he's right in declaring that he won't bring his own projects to school anymore. They don't deserve to see creativity out of this kid. Because they're douchebags, every last one of them at that school district.

      He should GTFO of that school and get home schooled. Better yet, the whole family should get out of Texas and move to Cambridge MA. And the school district should pay for it.

      --
      BMO

    • Re:Like a grownup (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:21PM (#50536129)

      You seem to be insinuating that there was anything even slightly wrong with what Ahmed did (by claiming that he "needs guidance" or that it needed to be "handled," even privately). Let me assure you that there is not. Ahmed is totally and completely innocent of even the appearance of wrongdoing, and having the school officials apply any sort of "handling" or "guidance" (let alone the "threats" and "punishment" that actually happened!) would be wrong on their part.

      This is not a situation where a student should be admonished "hey, that's too much like a bomb; don't do it again." This is a situation where a student should be praised that "hey, that's a cool project; keep up the good work!" What we have here is a model student who did everything right, but whose reward for that excellence was to be punished for it by bigoted, paranoid imbeciles. He should not have been arrested. He should not even have been "handled" or "guided!" He should have been celebrated!

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:04PM (#50535939) Homepage Journal
    http://news.slashdot.org/story/99/04/25/1438249/voices-from-the-hellmouth [slashdot.org]
    nerd rage is the funniest rage.
    /thread
  • If I had a child now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:05PM (#50535953)
    I would home school him or her.

    Not because I don't want them to learn about evolution

    Not because I think Jeebuz thinks the road to hell is paved with Global warming or that that allow gay kids in school.

    It would be because School administrators are stupid reactionary fuckwads who can't tell the difference between a circuit board and an IED, because little children get arrested for sexual assault for kissing another child, because now that police are patrolling the schools, causing little kids getting arrested for resisting arrest and assault felonies and a million other stupid things.

    You cannot build intelligent adults from the hopelessly stupid school teachers and administrators who apparently orgasm when they destroy a child's future.

    • This is our culture of fear and ignorance blossoming!

      We have a society which ostracizes the individual in favor of group think. Anyone not conforming to the pre-defined mold is immediately cast as suspect, ridiculed and shunned. Some of these individuals will take this negative energy and overcome adversity. Others will snap and go on killing sprees.

      Acceptance should be pushed in schools, Get to know people because I can guarantee you no person (group thinker or loner) is the person they are viewed as on t

    • by Princeofcups ( 150855 ) <john@princeofcups.com> on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @06:32PM (#50536691) Homepage

      I would home school him or her.

      Not because I don't want them to learn about evolution

      Not because I think Jeebuz thinks the road to hell is paved with Global warming or that that allow gay kids in school.

      It would be because School administrators are stupid reactionary fuckwads who can't tell the difference between a circuit board and an IED, because little children get arrested for sexual assault for kissing another child, because now that police are patrolling the schools, causing little kids getting arrested for resisting arrest and assault felonies and a million other stupid things.

      The solution is homeschooling? I thought it was work with your community to improve your schools so that EVERYONE benefits. We've become a society of not only "me first," but "only I matter."

  • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:09PM (#50535991) Journal

    As the last linked article points out, rather than being contrite about the unwarranted treatment of Akmed Mohamed, the Irving Independent School District is doubling down. In addition to reporting "suspicious" activity (mentioned in TFS) the letter from Principal Daniel Cummings to parents included this gem:

    I recommend using this opportunity to talk with your child about the Student Code of Conduct and specifically not bringing items to school that are prohibited.

    Nice posturing. So, was the item he brought to school actually prohibited? Or is this just innuendo?

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      What's prohibited is whatever the principal says is prohibited. For the children's safety, obviously.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:15PM (#50536057)

    I bet every kid who ever took an electronics class in high-school made a digital clock. Why is it that nobody including teachers immediately thought OMG Terrorists!! back then? Because we became a nation of pussies. Scared of everything except the thing we should fear the most..

  • Good Move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by r-diddly ( 4140775 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:19PM (#50536107)
    No, literally, good move Obama. Doesn't make up for all the other embarrassments & injustices, and there are many. But at least there's a line... at least being arrested for dumb shit, just this once, gets you a presidential apology. "I made a clock." "We think it's a bomb. Is it a bomb?" "No." "We think you wanted us to think it was a bomb." "But it's patently not a bomb." "Don't bother telling us it's not a bomb... that's exactly what you want us to think!" "I do want you to think that!" "Well then why did you build this bomb-looking bomb then?"
    • Re:Good Move (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:51PM (#50536389) Journal
      It's a good move, but I know an even better one. How about "inviting" (summoning) the teacher, the principle, the police officers and their chief of police to the White House, to ask them what the fuck they were thinking. The president giving these idiots an earful semi-publicly (not in public but it'll make the news) might give other panic-mongers and closet dictators some pause. It'll be worth it even in the extremely unlikely event that the backlash from a presidential chewing-out allows a terrorist to slip through. Fear, suspicion, surveillance and oppression aren't going to stop them anyway.
      • Re:Good Move (Score:4, Informative)

        by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @06:09PM (#50536531)

        It's a good move, but I know an even better one. How about "inviting" (summoning) the teacher, the principle, the police officers and their chief of police to the White House, to ask them what the fuck they were thinking. The president giving these idiots an earful semi-publicly (not in public but it'll make the news) might give other panic-mongers and closet dictators some pause. It'll be worth it even in the extremely unlikely event that the backlash from a presidential chewing-out allows a terrorist to slip through. Fear, suspicion, surveillance and oppression aren't going to stop them anyway.

        That would be an overreach - which is everything the president has been accused of doing by the GOP with very little actual evidence of such. Intervening directly in a non-federal matter like this is exactly the wrong thing to do. What he has done is neatly publicly shame the school district and the cops without intervening directly in their discipline.

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:21PM (#50536123) Journal

    The Irving Independent School District in Irving, Texas sent an email to parents about the incident asking students to: "immediately report any suspicious items and / or suspicious behavior."

    "Hello, Office? I'd like to report that the principle is acting more moronic than normal....I think he's a replicant."

  • Seriously, would you want to learn electronics, chemistry, physics, or comp sci in a country which might just decide to lock you up for doing your homework?!?!?!

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      Why do you think the U.S. in falling behind in training scientists and engineers. Ignorance is the rule, not the exception.
  • The thick-skinned, trollfag part of me instantly suggests detecting a subtle jab at the other involved party.

    My actual conscious thought says it's really just damage control about the overall "message" in the air. And while it may be a bit ham-fisted, I can't deny the positive direction it attempts.

    > The Irving Independent School District sent an email ... asking to: "immediately report any suspicious items and / or suspicious behavior."
    Yeah, here's the thing, you've just proven the Powers That
  • by moorley ( 69393 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:35PM (#50536239)

    There's stupidity, there's arrogance, and there's stuff you should really be escorted out of public service for...

    I hope somebody gets fired out of this... No apologies...

    Or on the other hand I look forward to 2-3 days of lame attempts to somehow justify this...

    Shall see...

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @07:05PM (#50536943)

    It's washington's terrorism paranoia (or convenient excuse to clobber liberty) that created this situation in the first place, and now the president is trying to make up for it with some publicity stunt? A solution fixes the problem. It does not brush it under the rug and hopes it goes away.

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