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CPRC in the Daily Caller: On Ahmed’s Clock and Zero Tolerance School Policies

29 Sep , 2015  

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John Lott’s newest piece at the Daily Caller starts this way:

President Obama still hasn’t learned his lesson. He has spoken out yet again before the facts were in. In this case, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, who was arrested and suspended for bringing an electronic clock to school, was invited to the White House within hours of his story going viral. Obama suggested the visit was to “inspire more kids like you to like science.” Many think it “obvious” the school boy’s religion had played a role in his arrest.

But Mohamed’s story is clearly not what it first appeared, and, even if it was, he should never have been invited by the president.

After Mohamed visits the UN and Mecca, he plans to take up Obama’s invitation to visit the White House. The real question is whether Obama will disinvite the young man or pretend that Mohamed is someone he is not.

Mohamed’s story is unraveling, as a couple of engineers have pointed out, it looks as if his clock was actually an already built commercial alarm clock from a 1986 Radio Shack catalogue. All Mohamed did was remove the clock’s case and put it in a pencil box. Hardly work that proves someone is a scientific prodigy. . . .

But the question should never have gone this far.  If there is a problem, it is with the rigid “zero tolerance” rules that compel public schools to handle so-called “weapon” cases the way they do.

Eagle Scoutshonor students, and others have had their college careers derailed by “zero tolerance” policies. Take just some of the bizarre zero tolerance “weapon” cases involving younger students that got national news coverage in 2013.

— 1st grader was given detention and suspension for bringing a quarter-sized toy gun on a school bus.

— 1st grader who brought a clear plastic toy gun to show and tell was suspended.

— First grader suspended for “talking” about a toy gun with another student.

— Kindergarten girl was suspended for 10 days for saying he was “shooting” a friend with a Hello Kitty bubble-making gun.

— Second grader was suspended for “pointing a pencil at another student and making gun noises.

— Seventh grader was suspended for playing with an airsoft gun in his own front yard

— Seventh grader suspended for having a tiny keychain “gun.”

— Second grader in Baltimore was suspended for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a mountain, which school officials mistook for a gun.

But Obama never worried about the fate of those students. Indeed, even Mohamed’s case hasn’t caused him to question the underlying problem.

Despite all the claims of religious discrimination in Mohamed’s case, the cases listed above primarily involve white, non-Muslim, male students.

These zero tolerance cases only accomplish traumatizing students about anything remotely related to guns. Yet, that doesn’t seem to disturb Obama. . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

UPDATE: Mohamed apparently had prior suspensions.

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1 Response

  1. Brad Hobbs says:

    I would like to see Mohamed try to carry his clock on board a plane as he travels. I suspect that the TSA will have concerns.

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