The invitation came after controversy erupted over Ahmed’s arrest for bringing a home-made clock to school, which his teacher called a “hoax bomb”, leading many to come to Ahmed’s defense and call the incident Islamophobic. Prior to bringing the clock to school, which his teacher felt resembled a bomb, Mohamed had reportedly brought in a few of his other “inventions” without incident.
Kubiak told The Morning news that Ahmed would constantly get into trouble and received weeks’ worth of suspensions from the school.
Anthony Bond, a family friend, said one of Mohamed’s earliest suspensions stemmed from an incident that was blown out of proportion.
“He was a weird little kid”, Ralph Kubiak, Ahmed’s seventh grade history teacher, told the paper.
Watch the entire segment below via Media Matters.
Kubiak added that the superintendent at Sam Houston Middle School was too quick to suspend a few children, another part of the article not mentioned by Kooiman.
Kubiak, who had inserted himself into the situation by granting an interview to the Morning News, recalls telling his students “to keep the adults out of it. The adults have an agenda”. Bond said: “Kids will be kids”.
In November, Bond wrote a letter to the superintendent, school board president and other officials, protesting that Ahmed had been suspended for defending himself during a hallway fight. That when he was disciplined – for infractions such as building a remote control to turn off a classroom projector or blowing bubbles in class – he once recited the First Amendment.
Schools began to adopt zero tolerance policies after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. They are the backbone of federal safe schools and threat assessment plans in response to Columbine (1999) and Sandy Hook (2012), culminating as the Safe School Initiative, a joint project of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Secret Service, meant to prevent school shootings. While it is common sense to have policies that punish students for serious crimes, it is also common sense for schools to approach offenses such as doodling on school property with lighter reactions. “In 2011, Texas A&M University identified that 30 percent of Texas students in grades 7-12 received out-of-school suspension (OSS), while 15 percent were either suspended or expelled at least 11 times”. Mohamed was in NYC this week and addressed the Social Good Summit and visited the New York City Hall. The document deemed Mohamed a “role model for young people” who wish to pursue careers in math, science, and engineering, and who want to “improve the world for future generations”.