Mayor defends police handling of Muslim teen with homemade clock
© Family photo

The mayor of Irving, Texas is defending the police and school administrators after they suspended a Muslim ninth-grader who brought a homemade clock to school.

Mayor Beth Van Duyne said the authorities had "followed protocol" during the investigation into Ahmed Mohamed, 14.

“I do not fault the school or police for looking into what they saw as a potential threat,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

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“They have procedures to run when a possible threat or criminal act is discovered,” she continued. “They follow these procedures in the sole interest of protecting our children and school personnel.

“To the best of my knowledge, they followed protocol for investigating whether this was an attempt to bring a hoax bomb to a school campus,” Van Duyne added. “As a parent, I agree that if this happened to my child I would be very upset.”

Mohamed took his homemade clock to MacArthur High School earlier this week. After the clock's alarm went off in class, a teacher confiscated the device and questioned whether it was an explosive, according to reports.

The police handcuffed the student and took him to the station for further questioning.

Mohamed was suspended for three days by Irving Independent School District (ISD) administrators.

Irving’s Police Department announced on Wednesday that no charges are being filed against Mohamed in the event’s aftermath.

“I hope this incident does not serve as a deterrent against our police and school personnel from maintaining the safety and security of our schools,” Van Duyne wrote on Wednesday afternoon.

“It is my sincere desire that Irving ISD students are encouraged to use their creativity, develop innovations and explore their interests in a manner that fosters higher learning,” she added.

“Hopefully, we can all learn from this week’s events and the student, who has obvious gifts, will not feel at all discouraged from pursuing his talent in electronics and engineering."

Mohamed’s suspension inspired widespread outrage on social media amid concerns he was racially profiled during the initial incident on Monday.

President Obama weighed in on the issue on Wednesday by encouraging the boy’s creativity and tinkering, and inviting him to the White House.

“Cool clock, Ahmed,” he tweeted. “Want to bring it to the White House?

“We should inspire more kids like you to like science,” Obama added. “It’s what makes America great.”

Mohamed’s family has since blamed anti-Muslim sentiment in Irving. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is also investigating the situation for possible discrimination.

The Sudanese-American teenager has vowed to not build any more mechanical devices again.