(post gazette) – CMU, speaks out against racial profiling of Texas student inventor

By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

During a visit to Carnegie Mellon University this afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke out against officials in a Texas school who alerted police that a student’s homemade clock might be a bomb.

As a result, Ahmed Mohamed, 14, a student at MacArthur High School in Irving, was arrested and handcuffed and taken to a detention center before police later decided not to charge him. Ahmed is Muslim and originally from Sudan.

“I was furious about it,” Mr. Duncan said. “This was racial profiling.”

The secretary said he was sorry that the boy and his family “had to go through this.”

Ahmed had taken the invention to school to show his engineering teacher when another teacher spotted it and suspected it was a bomb.

“We need more boys and girls to be tinkering,” the secretary said while in a room filled with robotics and other technology projects that CMU students work on jointly with students in local school districts.

Ahmed has since been invited to the White House.

Mr. Duncan visited CMU as the last stop of his seven-state, 10-stop tour dubbed “Ready for Success.”

He met with CMU students and took part in a town hall discussion that included Pittsburgh Publiv Schools Superintendent Linda Lane, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and members of the Pittsburgh school board.

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