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Texas Teen To Transfer Schools After Arrest Over Homemade Clock

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's report on the high school freshman who brought a homemade clock to class. That case made news because his teachers and then police thought the clock was a bomb. After an uproar, they have decided not to press charges. NPR's Kat Chow has this story.

KAT CHOW, BYLINE: Look at Ahmed Mohamed, and he seems like every other 14-year-old boy. Kind of scrawny, wearing his NASA T-shirt, he's standing in front of his house with his family and lawyers.

AHMED MOHAMED: So I guess everyone knows I'm the person who built a clock and got in a lot of trouble for it.

CHOW: When Mohamed's digital clock, made of wires and circuit boards, made a noise in class at MacArthur High School, he was handcuffed and interrogated by police. Mohamed says they asked if he was trying to make a bomb.

AHMED: I built the clock to impress my teacher, but when I showed it to her, she thought it was a threat to her. It was really sad that she took a wrong impression of it, and I got arrested for it later that day.

CHOW: His story went viral online. President Obama and Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg both said they wanted to meet the teen. Mohamed's lawyer is Linda Moreno from the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America.

LINDA MORENO: There was this rush to assume the very worst, and the rush was because of the color of his skin and because of his name, which is Ahmed Mohamed.

CHOW: Yesterday, Irving police chief Larry Boyd defended his department.

LARRY BOYD: That's a very suspicious device. We live in an age where you can't take things like that to schools.

CHOW: Police won't be filing charges. Mohamed says he's been suspended from school until today, but he's not planning on going back. He says he's going to transfer to somewhere else, a place more welcoming to students like him. Kat Chow, NPR News, Dallas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.