A student suspended because he decided to make something that looked like a weapon. The case of Ahmed “Clock Bomb” Mohamed? Nope — try a seven-year-old boy who nibbled a Pop-Tart into a gun.
At the end of the 2013 school year, seven-year-old Josh Welch was suspended for two days for biting the toaster pastry into a shape that kind of looked like a firearm. In addition, the incident would stay on his permanent record until he left high school and might even be asked about during the college admissions process.
Why didn’t we hear about this for weeks on end? Well, Welch was white and the Islamophobia aspect simply couldn’t be worked into the story the way it was with Mohamed.
“(Welch) was just as imaginative and is just as adventurous as Steve Jobs was at the age of 7,” said Robin Ficker, an attorney for the Anne Arundel County, Maryland Welch family.
“They tried to brand this kid and throw him under the bus, and he’s going to be in the school system for more than 10 years,” Ficker said, according to the The Huffington Post.
Mohamed’s clock, with its wires, flashing red LED and briefcase housing, could be reasonably construed to be a bomb by a casual onlooker. There is no amount of conceivable alteration that could make a Pop-Tart look like anything other than a Pop-Tart.
A 14-year-old like Mohamed could conceivably create a bomb. No 7-year old — nor anyone short of MacGyver — could fashion a gun out of a Pop-Tart. It’s challenging enough just to make it edible.
Mohamed got invited to the White House. All Welch got was a lifetime membership in the NRA.