Zero Tolerance

Hey Liberals, #IStandwithAhmed Isn't Only About Racism. It's About School Zero Tolerance Insanity.

Kids of all colors are at risk while paranoia reigns supreme in public schools.



Irving, Texas, ninth-grader Ahmed Muhamed brought a harmless, homemade clock to school to impress his engineering teacher. But he made more of an impression on the police officers who slapped him in handcuffs, hauled him to the station, and accused him of perpetrating a bomb hoax.

As evidenced by Twitter—#IStandWithAhmed—everybody is on Ahmed's side (with the possible exception of his school's officials, who sent a letter home to parents alerting them to the non-incident). Even President Obama tweeted, "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great." His message was retweeted 200,000 times in the past three hours.

I stand with Ahmed, too. But I also stand with Alex Stone.

Who is Alex Stone? He's the South Carolina 16-year-old who was arrested and suspended last year for writing a purely fictional story about a dinosaur in which he killed the prehistoric beast with a gun. Stone was a white kid.

I bring up his race for one reason, and one reason only: Some are suggesting that Ahmed's race is the only reason he was treated so badly. This is the obvious, inescapable conclusion, according to many left-leaning pundits: school officials identified a kid with an Islamic-sounding name, saw him carting around a device he had built, and cried terrorist!

Mic's Jon Levine called the incident "anti-Muslim bigotry" and "hypocrisy," and implied that white kids routinely get away with far worse behavior. Vox's Zack Beauchamp put it this way:

It's hard to see this as anything but blatant, naked Islamophobia: Police surely would not have hauled off a white kid because of a clock.

This is a popular sentiment on Twitter right now—popular, but dead wrong.

White kids are disciplined—and yes, arrested—for mild misbehavior in schools all the time. It literally happens every day. It happens to white kids. It happens to black kids. It happens to boys and girls, preschoolers and teenagers, athletes and eggheads, wealthy and poor, gay and straight, religious and atheists; it happens all the time, to young people of all stripes.

Note that that I'm not speculating; I'm not suggesting that what happened to Ahmed could have happened to a white kid. I'm asserting that very similar things have happened to white kids—and black, brown, Asian, Indian, and Latino kids—on a routine basis.

Alex Stone is just one example. Here are some others:

And on and on. I would encourage anyone who thinks Ahmed never could have been arrested for bringing a clock to school if his name was John Smith to click the hyperlinks and read the stories, though the headlines say a lot on their own. Keep in mind that this is just a snapshot of the senseless zero tolerance arrests, suspensions, and expulsions suffered by white kids—these are stories I have written about, or could easily recall.

I don't mean to suggest that these kinds of things are horrible because they happened to white kids. They are horrible, period. But the idea that white kids are immune to mistreatment at the hands of cops and school officials is both false and dangerous.

I accept that it's perfectly plausible—if not yet definitively proven—racism played a role in the specific case of Ahmed Muhamed. And it's certainly true that poor and minority youths are at greater risk of mistreatment. Studies show schools discipline black and Latino kids more harshly and more frequently than white kids who commit the same offenses.

But it would be a grave mistake to zero-in on racism as the main problem here, because ridiculous over-enforcement of school disciplinary policies is only partly a race issue. No child is safe from having his or her rights' trampled by assertive cops at school as long as paranoia about school safety and petty rules outlawing perfectly safe, normal teen behavior remain in place. Cops arrest kids for bringing harmless toys that vaguely resemble weapons to school. Schools suspend kids for talking, writing, or merely just thinking about said weapons while on school premises, or near school premises, or even just near the bus stop on their own front lawns.

If cops made these arrests, and schools decreed these suspensions, in an entirely race-neutral and even-handed way, the arrests and suspensions would still be wrong. By all means, let's reduce racist enforcement of stupid authoritarian government policies, but let's not lose sight of the more important goal: the elimination of these policies, and the climate of paranoia about school violence that inspired them, altogether.

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  1. Liberals Making #IStandwithAhmed About Racism Don’t Understand School Zero Tolerance Insanity

    How did I know the exact wrong fucking conclusion would be made? How did I know? How?

    1. I wait, I know how I knew… because questioning zero tolerance is questioning the authority of the education system which is essentially questioning the Teachers’ Union which is one in the same. And Pub Sec Unions protect the workin’ man from his constituents.

      1. You don’t have to go all the way to the teacher’s unions. Zero tolerance was born out of fear and people with an agenda willing to use that fear.

        1. It was started by pussy administrators who didn’t want to own the consequences of their decisions. I remember saying the same thing in the early 90’s.

    2. Because you already knew they didn’t give two shits about kids being treated like prisoners, and knew that the only thing that would interest them is the ability to tie it to one of their social signaling hobby horses?

      1. They are probably largely unaware how widespread school zero-tolerance BS is.

        1. unless this is Sarc. No, I believe they fully know how widespread the BS is and like it just fine. Makes them feel powerful and in control.

    3. Um, you knew because the headline indicates it? Nah, that’s too easy!

      1. Oh I knew long before the headline was a glimmer in Rico’s keyboard.

    4. Who made the wrong conclusion? The father of the boy made the same conclusion and he’s a lot closer to the story than you are.

      1. Wow, a parent might possibly be wrong about the nature of the mistreatment of his kid (which is clearly was, I’m not defending the school) in a way that would serve to spark more outrage and would work to his kid’s benefit? Damn, that’s impossible.

        Subjective testimony is the best testimony, am I right guys?

      2. Yes, I’m sure the father of the boy is an unbiased source of information. Hell, the father was probably in on it, since this little stunt has resulted in this kid being handed opportunities he hasn’t really earned, just like an affirmative action appointee.

  2. It’s all about identity with these twits. They could care less about human rights.

    1. And the boy’s father. But what does he know, right?

      1. They aren’t talking about the boy’s father, dipshit. They’re talking about the liberals who have jumped on the “racism” angle while ignoring the “zero-tolerance” angle.

  3. I usually roll my eyes when people try to inject racism/xenophobia into these things, but:

    “They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.””…

    So in this case racism/xenophobia really does seem to have been PART of it. The zero tolerance policies are the main problem here, sure, but it looks like the kid’s name and skin color did grease the wheels of allowing the zero tolerance insanity to be the chosen course of action.

    1. I agree. But it’s the zero tolerance policy that gives them cover. Because hey man, they were only following procedure.

      1. But it’s the zero tolerance policy that gives them cover. Because hey man, they were only following procedure.

        Not just cover, but teeth.

        Hauled to the principles office because “Muslim-y name” wouldn’t fly no matter how bigotted (or not) the arresting/detaining officer.

        IMO, the problem with the focus on bigotry is that saying, “Yup. That’s who I thought is was.” isn’t intrinsically racist, isn’t intrinsically relevant to the innocence/guilt of Ahmed’s detention, and is protected as free speech.

      2. Sounds like the “I was only following orders!” BS!

    2. If that actually occurred (and police have presented no evidence it didn’t) then yes, prejudice played a significant part.

      Making school administrators and police look stupid for doing these kinds of things was made easier by the prejudice angle, and got it out to a much larger audience, so regardless I’m okay with that being a big part of the story. I think it can help if part of the focus is diverted to that more than it can hurt.

      1. police have presented no evidence it didn’t

        Well played, Sir!

        1. The government is not entitled to a presumption of innocence.

        2. The government is not entitled to a presumption of innocence.

        3. The government is not entitled to a presumption of innocence.

        4. The government is not entitled to a presumption of innocence.

    3. Everybody who had a part in this travesty should be fired. Hell they should be fired, tarred, feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail, but I’ll settle for fired.

      That said, the core issue is still nitwit authoritarian a$$holes enforcing obviously imbecilic “policy”.

      Every time I hear or read of a Policeman, a mayor, a principle saying “All procedures were followed.”, “That’s our procedure.”, or anything similar I want to back them into a corner and tell them “OK, before I just wanted you to fire the idiots who took this action. NOW I want you to fire them AND the pinhead who came up with that ‘procedure’. And then resign, for feeding me that line of patristic bullshit.”

      There is nothing wrong with the average public school administrator that deep-fat frying wouldn’t solve.

      1. Every time I hear or read of a Policeman, a mayor, a principle saying “All procedures were followed.”, “That’s our procedure.”, or anything similar I want to back them into a corner and tell them “OK, before I just wanted you to fire the idiots who took this action. NOW I want you to fire them AND the pinhead who came up with that ‘procedure’. And then resign, for feeding me that line of patristic bullshit.”

        C’mon, this is Reason!

        We don’t care about the motivations and beliefs of servants of the public, just whether they showed up to do their jobs or not.

        Unless they’re Christian, then we care whether they’re doing their job or not *and* why and then plenty of us aren’t at all concerned with the least invasive means of righting a wrong but how hard and fast we can bring the hammer of government to bear.

        P.S. – Actually, ‘plenty of us’ might be a bit of an exaggeration. They’re often hard to distinguish from the number of writers and forumites that stand back and say, “I had no idea people were so quick to bring the hammer of violent justice to bear for their pet cause.” and “I had no idea my intentions could be misconstrued by public officials like this.”

      2. The media should at very least publish the names of all teachers and cops involved so that they are named and shamed.

    4. Come on. More like, by “That” he meant “That no-good troublemaker Ahmad Muhammad”, not “That otherwise unremarkable Muslim kid”, which suggests not race bias but some kind of personal bias, which is more likely cause they are perceived as foreigners not because of religion or ethnicity. For that matter, how’s it come to be that everybody that’s the “white race” now refers to everyone of the purest western European blood, regardless actual racial characters? At the same time, it’s like they’ve stopped bothering to make any distinctions amongst the different varieties of mud people, whose specific races used to be meticulously denoted. It’s the white folk and then everybody that’s not. Furthermore, the standards of whiteness seem variable depending pon where in the country you are, with certain hispanos admitted to whiteness in some areas and not in others. A lot of these articles I see now, it’s clear what they really mean by the white/not-white dichotomy is thoroughly assimilated anglophones and people who miss one of those criteria by some arbitrary quantity, which is to say it’s nothing to do with race at all. They just want to bang it up as race related because it’s a nice word for riling folks up over nothing based on the historical race war.

    5. Arab kid gets caught up in zero tolerance BS. School administrators call the cops. Racist cop makes offhand racist comment.

      How is racism the root cause of this situation, again? The ‘See Something, Say Something’, pants wetting, hypersensitive culture where everybody gives themselves a pat on the back when they raise the alarms in the name of safety is the problem. But now our safety heroes have run into the culture warriors who will cry racism every time the inevitable unfortunate outcome happens to somebody in their sphere of protective outrage. And as a result, the real reason why things like this happen to people from all races and socioeconomic groups will be ignored.

  4. Robby, Robby, Robby, don’t you get it? Everything is about racism. You’re just not looking hard enough.

      1. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that make me laugh out loud.

    1. All the white kids who get away with not misbehaving every day… Totally racist.

      1. When I’s in school they had whippings and the teachers would slap or cuff the children with some frequency and yell insults at them all day, and somehow none of them was afraid of a bomb. Fuck, they even let us carry knives in class.

        1. I used to keep a shotgun in the trunk of my car to go hunting after school. The rednecks had gun racks in their pickups. That was in the early 70s; I shit you not.

          1. 2001 and 2002 my high school PE class went to the gun range and did some shooting with .22’s and shotguns.

            OTOH, around 2002 a kid in my class got suspended/arrested for joking (and not in a threatening way) about having a gun in his pickup…he came very, very close to being expelled.

  5. Thanks for the whitesplain, Robby. SMDH.

    The zero tolerance policies are certainly a problem. Another problem is how all of the adults involved seem to be extremely stupid. Hooray schools.

    Another problem, as mentioned above, is that all adults involved here know they won’t be punished. Heads roll at private institutions for far less. What could be the possible reason they won’t here? I can think of one, but you won’t read about it at Vox.

  6. Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, said the case goes to show how stereotypes can cloud the judgment of even the most “good-hearted people.”

    “It’s clear that at least some of Ahmed’s teachers failed him,” Earnest said. “That’s too bad, but it’s not too late for all of us to use this as a teachable moment and to search our own conscience for biases in whatever form they take.”

    I don’t usually care for it when the White House unsubtly calls someone a racist, but I’m okay with it here.

    1. I take issue with the good-hearted part. His teachers may be all around decent people but even if you take his race out of it, these actions were not motivated by good intentions. They were motivated by fear. Just like in the cases Robby cites above.

      1. Not fear. Authoritarian arseholery.

        1. Fear of making a wrong decision and then bring held accountable for it.

    2. I’d say the entire school failed him, administration on down. And since the feds are probably responsible for some of the Zero Tolerance bullshit, then the President failed him too.

  7. OT: and pardon me if this was linked in an earlier thread…..a-chainsaw

    Cops go on “chainsaw tantrum” after their unit is dissolved because they were a-holes. I’d be mad if my unit was dissolved too.

  8. “Who is Alex Stone? He’s the South Carolina 16-year-old who was arrested and suspended last year for writing a purely fictional story about a dinosaur in which he killed the prehistoric beast with a gun.”

    I had forgotten about that one. How is that not the most blatant First Amendment violation in the history of…well, of ever?

    1. I see he got a lawyer but I can’t find a story that isn’t a year old.

      I am guessing the booger-eatin’ morons with the school and the cops settled then they went back to work.

  9. If as seem perfectly plausible ,any of the candidates in the GOP debate were to raise the issue of “zero tolerance” and the backwards nature of public schools, in relation to the events-

    which pundits are going to cry racism first?

  10. Good article Robby. But it won’t convince anyone who *wants* it to be only about race/religion.

    1. Exactly. Police violence, militarization, and accountability? Nope: It’s police racism.
      This story will become about racism and nothing else still happen.

  11. When are we going to start having these teachers and school administrators “evaluated”? If a kid walks up to you and says “look at this clock,” and then he shows you what pretty clearly looks like a clock, and your thought is “It’s a bomb!” then you must have some underlying psychological problems, and you shouldn’t be working in a school environment, with all of its potential sources of trauma, until you have gotten the help that you need to work through that.

    1. Somewhere in the background are lawyers who advised it is best to over-react lest one be fired or sued when the 1 in a million occurs. Except, of course, for cops where there is never any official over-reaction when unreasonable force is used.

      1. The unfortunate thing is that hypercaution is not penalized in the pubsec, because immunity, while it is penalized in the real world, because reality.

    2. Again, it’s all motivated by fear. That fear is totally disconnected from reality. And I know that most people are terrible at objectively judging risk, but in these cases there is something else at play. Because that irrational fear is intentionally stoked by the media (because it grabs eyeballs), politicians (because it gives them cover to pursue an agenda), special interest groups…

    3. “When are we going to start having these teachers and school administrators “evaluated’? ”

      The subject has come up before. The screeching, hair tearing, and gnashing of teeth from the teacher’s union was a spectacle to behold.

      Oh, wait. “evaluate”. Ah, I see, you want to grade them with a woodchipper. I can second that.

  12. “it’s what makes America great.’

    Troll-In-Chief, FTW

  13. As was already pointed out, many people (and not just liberal “twits”) suggested that racism and Islamophobia played a role because, well, it was part of the original story in Texas newspapers, with the cop being quoted saying, “Yup, that’s who I thought it was.” Did anyone who’s bashing liberals for drawing the wrong conclusion bother the read the news stories before making their own wrong assumptions?

    A lot of stuff had to go wrong for this kid to be arrested, but racism should not be dismissed simply because being critical of racism seems to have sadly turned into a liberal-only thing. Yes, libertarians should be rightly appalled by zero-tolerance rules, but we should not so blithely dismiss the whiff of racism here.

    1. The problem isn’t people who draw wrong conclusions. The problem is that cries of racism have been applied to any and everything so often that people have become deaf to it. Of course liberals are going to find racism in any situation whether it is there or not so I generally just stop hearing everything said after the ‘r’ word.

      People who work so diligently to destroy their credibility can’t really complain when they find that people don’t listen to them.

      1. It’s like The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

    2. “racism should not be dismissed”

      Its not being dismissed, dumbass. Robby said so.

      “‘I accept that it’s perfectly plausible?if not yet definitively proven?racism played a role in the specific case of Ahmed Muhamed. “

      The issue is that idiots immediately jump to “Racism” as the problem, when its actually ‘zero tolerance’ policies in schools… just as ‘Racism’ isn’t the reason so many unarmed people are killed by police…. when its actually a lack of disincentive or punishment of cops who routinely over-use force.

      ” being critical of racism seems to have sadly turned into a liberal-only thing’

      Yeah, don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back there. Crying “racism” at every opportunity isn’t the great hallmark of virtue you pretend it is.

      1. Put another way, zero-tolerance and a lack of accountability for cops, in general, enable bad behavior. Sometimes that behavior is motivated by racism, or at least racial stereotyping. These policies give racists cover, along with other bad actors.

    3. but racism should not be dismissed simply because being critical of racism seems to have sadly turned into a liberal-only thing

      Racism isn’t being dismissed because of this. It’s being dismissed because, on several layers, it’s irrelevant.

      The statement “Yup, that’s who I thought it was.” isn’t inherently racist and could be equally critical of the Muslim-y student or the moron officials who just assume the Muslim is a terrorist.

      Moreover, it’s not intrinsically relevant to his detention/arrest at that point. If he’d worn a vest made of modelling clay that looked like semtek and carried around a detonator, and, when the local police showed up and said, ‘Yup, that’s who I thought it was.’ people would equally be saying, sure he should’ve had the sense not to wear a modelling clay vest, but the police shouldn’t be so racist.

    4. I dismiss racism immediately since Islam isn’t a race.

      Personally, the odds are pretty high, more than zero, that the islamite will become a bomb maker for ISIS anyway, and just perhaps this run in with the statist legal system will save this future bomber from killing others……but doubtful if he is an actual Muslim.

  14. “it would be a grave mistake to zero-in on racism as the main problem here”

    I have just felt a tremor in the force….

    …as though millions of progs collectively shrugged and moaned, “BUT ITS BEEN WORKING GREAT SO FAR, WHY STOP NOW?”

  15. The school clearly needs to hire more cultural training officers (AT THE UNION RATE) and a new commission appointed to make sure this doesn’t happen to any more muslim-ey sounding kids.

  16. Some of the same people who love to say that mass shooters are overwhelmingly white males are now saying that the police give a pass to “suspicious” white boys?

    Identity politics really is all they have. Don’t think or ask questions; is the subject white? Boo! Is the subject not white or a woman? Yay!

    1. Police *do* give a pass to ‘suspicious’ white boys – that’s how they get away with all those mass shootings.

      Imagine a world where the police come down like a hammer on any potentially suspect act – it would be a veritable utopia where another white man never shoots up a black church again.

      1. In such a world it would only be a matter of time before a white cop shot up a black church. Monkeys, typewriters, Shakespeare, etc.

        Nevertheless, the typical leftist response to racist policing is to ramp up the police state. Somehow that will make everything fair.

  17. For libertarians, it’s an issue of domineering and unaccountable bureaucrats. We want to see this sort of thing not happen and for bureaucrats to be punished when it does.

    For progressives it’s an issue of race-baiting. They want to use it as a wedge for requiring ever-greater ethnic sensitivity. To that end they’re not especially concerned about seeing authoritarian shitheels constrained.

    Hopefully this clears up the confusion as to why progressive strategy always seems to run counter to progressive rhetoric.

  18. Sylar would have made sure that this matter never went beyond the initial conversation.


    1. Save the cheerleader, save the world.

      1. Save the cheerleader, spend the rest of your life on a registry.

        1. SAVE the cheerleader, not SHAVE the cheerleader. Geeze.

  19. He has terroristy eyes.

    (I want to become Breitbart famous).

  20. Zero tolerance? You stand by that terrorist? Come on Reason your name is Reason for a reason. I bet now that he’s getting all the attention, he’ll end up as an engineer for ISIS and create something to damage our country. The school was correct arresting Osama bin Laden junior. As for the white kid, that was anti-Second Amendment. #IDONTStandByAhmedTheTerrorist God bless America

    1. I’ve lost the ability to tell what’s real and what’s not real.

      1. I’ve actually had that happen a couple of times. Incredibly unpleasant.

        1. I figured the constant ingestion of hallucinogens made the barrier between reality and fantasy permanently invisible for you.

          1. There’s a barrier?

        2. A couple?

        3. For you it should be easy – is it between 6AM and 6PM, then I’m probably sober and this is real.

          Is it after 6pm? All bets are off.

  21. White kids are disciplined?and yes, arrested?for mild misbehavior in schools all the time. It literally happens every day. It happens to white kids. It happens to black kids. It happens to boys and girls, preschoolers and teenagers, athletes and eggheads, wealthy and poor, gay and straight, religious and atheists; it happens all the time, to young people of all stripes.

    Exactly. It’s totally fair to everyone!

    1. Kind of like TSA

  22. Insidious imps are deceptively fuckingly appalling nonetheless and imbroglios incited by the pedagogy generally strike me as insidious, yet impish.

    I presume the impish part of this meandering bullshit to be the part of the pedagogic brain where piles of stupid babies live.

    Across the creaky hallway in the mental world of these pedagogic fucks lives an assortment of fucked up rude idiots with broken TV’s wearing dirty underwear and brass knuckles and constantly punching broken walls lined with the slashed and ruined pictures of brilliant children while these pretend scholars jack off onto old piles of dried cum to the pictures of their favorite Sheriff’s deputies pinned to the ceilings.

  23. A few articles of “John Smiths” who were busted in school of doing something almost identical would be good. Someone with Lexus/Nexus access should be able to find them a lot easier than sorting through the Google results that are saturated with the latest story.

  24. Ahmed learned a very important lesson here. I’m happy to see this.

    Reporter asks Ahmed: “The police chief wants to meet with you, will you?”

    “Not without my lawyer, no.”


  25. The problem is not government school policy. The problem is virtual monopoly status and a public perception of legitimacy.

  26. Hey Liberals, #IStandwithAhmed Isn’t Only About Racism. It’s About School Zero Tolerance Insanity.

    Here’s the deal – Liberals, like *most* people, simply do not care about state overreach except when it affects people they like.

    That’s it.

  27. found a picture of it on a Dallas news site, at least a picture of the back of it with the wires and circuitry. The kid’s engineering teacher saw it and suggested that perhaps Ahmed not show others since they might get the wrong idea, which one did. And when did digital clocks start ticking?

    I can agree a teacher over-reacted but when one you actually respect suggests not doing something (out of concern for you), but you do it anyway, that’s not sharp.


      Dallas news site referenced above –

    2. As I understood it, the alarm went off during a class and the teacher asked to see it afterwards.

    3. Here’s the picture of the clock…..-arrested/

      The kid was also apparently “passive aggressive” during questioning, whatever that means.

      Let’s say the kid carried that around an airport and the TSA takes him away.

      Us – “It looks like TSA is doing what it does best”

      Them – “OMG racial profiling, TSA would never do this to a white person.”

      I’m kinda reminded of a King of the Hills episode in which Hank laments “What kind of country is this, where the only person I’m allowed to hate is white”

      1. It’s happened multiple times in the TSA, with white people, and it got pretty decent press.

  28. Ah, but the better question to ask is, if Michael Brown, Gray, and Rice were all white, would be there any sort of backlash against police misconduct?

    The Kelly Thomas incident was (for all intents and purposes) treated as a local crime story.

    1. Lazy white people.

      1. “Lazy white people.”

        Yeah, they deserved to be killed by cops and ignored by the media.

    2. White people getting killed by the police isn’t an advantageous narrative for the Progressive Theocracy, therefore it’s off to the Memory Hole with those stories.

      1. Precisely. An injustice that more-or-less affects all races equally is not an injustice at all in the prog playbook.

        They won’t lift a finger over an issue unless they see an opportunity to advertise themselves as valiant, untiring warriors against racism.

  29. I want to see the teachers who were involved in this incident (once their identities are leaked on the internet, their chances at normal lives will end) run to the union for help.

    “Why is it so hard to fire these racist teachers?” – An SJW might ask in frustration. “Who or what is protecting them!!!”

    1. “Who or what is protecting them!!!”

      See the racism inherent in the system!!!

  30. What’s the conservative reaction? I get all my news here so I never get that side of the story. Just endless needling of liberals for not being libertarian-PC.

    1. Re: Tony the Marxian,

      Ask a conservative.

      1. I occasionally troll over at FreeRepublic. They’re about 67/33 against the kid.

        The Freepers against the kid ARE bigots. Not so sure about Irving teachers and cops. It’s far more likely that they’re just retarded.

    2. “What’s the conservative reaction?”

      That the underlying problem is zero tolerance nonsense and teacher’s union. The subtle racial bias is merely an enabling factor.

      Who’s your dog in this fight, Tony? The teacher’s union who will now protect the racist / incompetent teachers? Or these teachers, who dutifully carried out progressive agenda on school campuses? They were protecting kids, you know.

  31. Hor Marxians think 101.

    Government schools and compulsory (i.e. at bayonet point) “edukashion” = good, moral and pure. Never question the intention behind the system. Never ever conclude that there’s a perverse and pernicious at wor because that would be blaming the system; rather, assume the elements (the people) are flawed, therefore: it had to be racism.

    1. Perverse and pernicious incentive at work…

  32. Race-baiters are going to bait. Some are masters at it.

    1. You know who else was a Master Baiter?

  33. Dude seems to know what time it is.

    1. Anonbot is now punning. The technological singularity has arrived.

  34. Converting all issues to racism is a win win win for the Progressive Theocracy.

    It distract the peasants from their abusive power, it divides them, and it has them petitioning The Progressive Theocracy for relief. Win win win.

  35. John Smith would have been arrested for making a gun shaped Pop Tart. We’ve been seeing this for years now, but NO, it’s a MUSLIM student! It MUST be ISLAMAPHOBIA!!!

  36. Better yet. Say ‘Bomb’ in an airport. Go ahead. There are rules for a reason. You can’t come back from dead so people tend to over react…

  37. But Zero Tolerance is a Lefty idea, so it’s good (by Leftie standards that only feelings count, not consequences).
    And stirring up racial hatred is also good (by the very same standards above).
    So there’s no inconsistency here. Zero tolerance makes a Left feel just as good as stirring up racial hatred. It’s like eating ice cream and sitting on the beach in Fiji for a normal human being. They both feel good, and there’s no possible connection. The Leftists of the world see no connection between their love of Zero Tolerance and how Ahmed was treated. And likewise, they see no connection between decrying how Ahmed was treated and their support for racist turds like CAIR.
    The connections Leftists see are invisible to the normal human being.

  38. Yes, it’s partly the name Ahmed Mohamed, partly school nuttiness, but partly also just general mishigos, not limited to schools, as happened with that roadside teaser ad campaign in Boston.

  39. My 14 year old son was arrested for climbing up on the flat roof (about ten feet above ground level) of our elementary school. He and his friends were guilty of the mischief that over the years many have called a rite of passage; regardless, they trespassed. I was told (and it was reported as such in the local newspaper) they were arrested because they chose to run from the officer. What was not in the reports I read is that the boys were chased across the school playground by a police cruiser! Children at the playground reported that the boys were walking away and started to run when they heard the wheels of the car tearing up the grass. Handcuffed, transported, cuffed again to the “bench”. The police drove past our house on the way to the township police department! I admit it, my family is white.

    1. We’re the coups mustached fatfucks with mirrored sunglasses

  40. Your headline is off base because I’m a life-long liberal and absolutely opposed to zero tolerance policies. You’re assuming such policies are a result of liberals or liberal thinking. They are not. Zero tolerance policies are the result of authoritarian control regimes endemic of school departments nationwide in both liberal and conservative communities. Exhibit A is this current matter in Irving, Texas, which is by far NOT a liberal bastion and yet here we are again with a zero tolerance situation.

    I also take minor issue with your statement, “As evidenced by Twitter?#IStandWithAhmed?everybody is on Ahmed’s side …”

    No, not “everybody.” Go to any random mainstream media website like Washington Post and read the comments section and you’ll find quite the cesspool of anti-Muslim, anti-Ahmed comments in full view.

    1. Zero tolerance policies are the result of authoritarian control regimes

      Yes. One of those authoritarian control regimes is progressivism, AKA “liberalism” in the US.

      endemic of school departments nationwide in both liberal and conservative communities

      The communities don’t matter. What matters is that public school teachers, by the nature of their employment, favor statism.

      I’m a life-long liberal and absolutely opposed to zero tolerance policies

      (1) If you are a “liberal” in the US sense, you are a statist and an authoritarian.

      (2) People are US-style liberals for many reasons. A pot smoking hippie public school teacher may favor public sector unions and nearly socialist economic policies while also favoring drug legalization. In fact, US “liberalism” mainly means using the authority of the state to get what you want and preserve the liberties you favor, while imposing your rules and preferences on everybody else.

      1. Your comment is the result of right-wing brainwashing and merits no substantive response. Enjoy your life.

        1. Straight to the ad hominem? Not even an attempt at rebuttal? Your troll skills are weak.

        2. Your comment is the result of right-wing brainwashing and merits no substantive response.

          You’re right, what do I know! I just grew up in progressive and socialist countries before emigrating to the US. Obviously a “life long [US] liberal” like you knows so much more about progressivism and liberalism than I ever could.

          Enjoy your life.

          Why, thank you! I am!

        3. He’s right, you’re wrong. YOU are the result of brainwashing. And you have a lot of blood on your hands, supporting the Statists.

  41. I would hope we have a “zero tolerance” for bombs at school.

    No, this is neither about racism nor about zero tolerance. It is about teachers and police being so dumb and uneducated that they can’t tell the difference between a digital alarm clock and a bomb.

    1. I’m pretty sure teachers are either encouraged or mandated to act if students break zero tolerance policies involving weapons or potential threats.

      Even the most obtuse person would recognized that fictional stories about killing a dinosaur cannot be weaponized or hurt people in any way. But the kid who did that got arrested anyways.

      Teachers who suspend kids for twirling a pencil like a gun cannot be expected to exercise caution when a Muslim kid brings an electronic homemade device that makes ticking noises.

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  43. HMMMMMM… I wonder if the school’s response had anything to do with this:…..irving.ece

    Muslims destroyed the WTC. Muslims shot up Fort Hood. Muslims bombed the Boston Marathon. The shoe bomber made sure that our trip through the airport was that much more unpleasant. All of these “man-made” tragedies have one common denominator: muslim males on a quest for virgins. All within the span of 12 years.

    I’m really tired of imbeciles referring to these individuals as “extremists”. Maybe most of the muslims here are just 2 per-centers. The bombers/shooters/bombers/cowards are just devout muslims that take the Koran quite literally as it was intended to be.

    Pardon the school district for being a tad paranoid.

    1. Really? Fear much?

      Yes, some version of Muslim has perpetrated all the things mentioned. So?

      What religion (or not) have the shooters at the movie theaters been? I have no idea. If they are all Protestant should we be scared of them? No.

      Here is the thing from my view. If he was hiding the clock in a bag, not wanting to show it to anyone, not taking it out in public, you know; concealing it. Then there would have been cause for action. But, no, he took it out, showed it to teacher, etc. In no rational way can I figure that someone with a bomb would want to show it off to the people he is planning on blowing up.

      1. Is,am is pure evil, and should be wiped out. But this kid just made a fucking alarm clock.

  44. zero tolerance or not, when Mohammed brings a ticking device in a suitcase to school, it needs to be looked into a bit more closely.

    1. It’s a bunch of circuit boards and wires FFS. What’s going to explode? The electrolytic capacitor?

      Any competent teacher should have been able to take one look at this thing and seen that it’s not a bomb. Ditto for any competent police officer. The fact that they thought this warranted putting handcuffs on the kid is a testament neither to racism or zero tolerance, it’s a testament to incompetence.

      1. Well, I suspect the kid was arrested on the strength of having such a September 11thy name.

  45. I received out of school suspension, drug testing and drug counseling because I had forgotten I had my pager in my book bag.
    It was early nineties. Hadn’t even seen pot yet. But pagers are drug paraphernalia.
    I had one because my after school and weekend job was at a cellphone company. Wasn’t old enough to get a phone.
    But yep. Total druggie…oooobviously. Thanks zero tolerance!

    The obsession with islamaphobia is exhausting.

    1. Almost forgot! Kicked off winter cheering and had to petition school board for permission to go to prom.
      Btw little white girl here.

  46. Question for the commentariat:

    Think back to the things you did in your high school days (for me, the early ’80s). If your school had the same policies that are in place today, would you be out of jail yet?

  47. With all the talk of Zero Tolerance, interestingly the Zero Tolerance being limited in it’s application to the sometimes foolish antics of students aka children, how about some Zero Tolerance for some of the arrogant nonsense originating with supposedly responsible adults, aka teachers and school administrators?

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  49. Remember the kid who got arrested for the butter knife that fell in his/her lunch sack during his sandwich preparation ? I don’t remember how old he/she was but it was under nine years old.
    Zero tolerance is zero productive during those years. I don’t know how those people can justify idiocy like that.

  50. Hi, Ahmed. This is great practice for being a gun owner. Get used to it.

  51. The clock did not have a digital display or clock face. He plugged it in when he was in English class, and it began to make noise.

    At that point, I don’t blame the English teacher (who probably had no idea about any project that was going on at the “engineering” class) for taking action. The only question is, did the police have to get involved? Apparently the engineering teacher didn’t exactly help the kid’s cause.

    If it was wrong for Mohammed to be arrested, then he was a victim of jittery teachers and zero tolerance policies. But right now, I don’t think what happened here is comparable to most other zero tolerance horror stories. It’s more of an overreaction to a plausible threat.

    1. It’s more of an overreaction to a plausible conceivable threat.

      Plausible means reasonable or probable. A sorta-Muslim American kid walking into a school with a bomb and plugging it in out in the open like that in an attempt to blow up the school (or w/e) isn’t reasonable and is only plausible in the sense that it’s not impossible to believe.

      1. It’s not really “plausible” that some kid might bring a gun to school and kill 20 students, but it happens. Muslim terrorists do blow themselves up, and they do recruit kids.

        It was reasonable for the English teacher to take action in that situation. Mohammed plugged in a device that did not look like a conventional clock. We’re in agreement, you probably understood what I meant, it’s pointless to feud over a choice of words.

  52. Zero tolerance overreach does get out of hand. One relevant fact remains unanswered: Where was his parents? Do they not talk to their children? Did these parents not know his wanting to impress his teacher?

    The school didn’t fail Ahmed. His parents did, and that failure is a consistent theme being used against the authorities in this case. The electronics teacher saw the clock for what it was- a disassembled clock. The English teacher simply saw parts, and from there the event cascaded which ended up having Ahmed arrested for something plausible but ultimately innocent.

    The school did it’s job. His parent’s didn’t. So, why is the school being demonized and his parents left unscathed or even, pardon the pun, martyred on his behalf in the name of racial profiling and Islamophobia? Because Ahmed is an “innocent” kid (and for some, and part of a suspicious minority: Muslim).

    The author did a great job of showing how Zero tolerance failed by over reach, but in contrast to how many time Parents failed to their job and actually supervise their kids?

    Actually a couple links provided by the author could be used in my argument quite easily, just as it SHOULD be used in this case with Ahmed but isn’t. If Ahmed parents (or even older siblings) had policed Ahmed, this would have been a non story- period.

    So why are they getting a free pass from scrutiny?

  53. Ahmed case is also about stupidity. Somebody ought to tell these idiots that bombs need explosives. Nobody has yet invented an exploding circuit board. Come to think of it, stupidity seems to be rampant in schools from grade school to colleges. Maybe vaccines are responsible!

  54. There are a lot of knee-jerk comments here. That’s unfortunate, because it creates needless conflict and argument. There are probably more facts about this incident than have been revealed. For example, it is possible that Ahmed’s father put him up to this to create an incident for CAIR to exploit. Think he’s too young for it? Djokar Tsarnaev murdered people while a teenager, and 14 year-old kids commit murder every day on our cities’ streets as well as in the Muslim middle east. Given today’s materials and components, a smart teenager could have made a much more elegant “clock” than the one involved in this incident.

    There is nothing racist about “zero tolerance”. In fact, most of the stories of school administration atrocities have white boys as the victims, not minorities. And let’s all remember that “zero tolerance” was created by the Left – a wholly hypocritical “zero tolerance” for “intolerance” and any words or actions that “offend” the dogma of the modern American Left. This week’s South Park episode was a perfect portrait of the Left’s real character.

    Is “zero tolerance” stupid? Of course. The public education industry is the best refuge for left-wing libtards who suffer from Peter Pan syndrome to a psychotic degree. There is zero accountability for results, complete job security, and a bubble or echo chamber environment where everyone thinks alike and any dissenters are driven out by the mob tactics of the Left.


      I understand that many would consider this a pretty dubious source, but it is admittedly an opinion piece. Of course Steve Sailer / VDare is not someone / something that I want to identify with. But, the point about the kid’s dad being politically oriented, as well as the fact that the “clock” appears to be a deconstructed version of a commercial product (rather than looking like a breadboard prototype), provides an interesting possibility for a different narrative.

      Sorry for posting from Unz, not sure what the consensus is around here on that site, but I enjoy a lot of the foreign policy stuff by types like Margolis, etc.

  55. I completely agree, the zero tolerance policy is insane, but the school never once thought he had a bomb.

    -they never evacuated the school nor did anything to get people away from the situation
    -they put him in the admistrative office with the “bomb” and waited for the police
    -they put him and the “bomb” into the police car
    -took him and the “bomb” into the police department and took pictures of it.

    These people targeted, intimidated, and embarrassed a young Muslim boy simply because he “fit the description”. I understand that white kids get in trouble for stupid stuff too, but its rarely accompanied by charges of this degree. And there’s documented proof that kids not named Ahmed Muhamed Cam bring clocks to school and not only not go to jail, but are praised and written about for their work (Google ” 7 Kids Not Named Muhamed Who Brought Clocks to School and Didn’t Get Arrested” its on

    So while I agree that the zero tolerance policy is out of hand and may be the basis for this arrest, this story is the picture of institutional racism against any person who “fits the description”

    1. Ahmed was charged with making a “hoax bomb” and he was evasive during questioning.

      Basically, he was accused of intimidating the school with an unexplained action. Which is consistent of zero tolerant policy. A pop tart eaten into shape of a gun hurts nobody.

      I googled the gawker articles. It seems to me that at least some of them were turning in projects for a school sanctioned competition. Apples and oranges.

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  57. Ever think that the “it’s who I thought it was” wasn’t a reference to his race, but maybe that he was a known troublemaker? Just a thought.

    1. He’s a smart kid. Maybe he did this to engineer a lawsuit for a big payday settlement. Hello free ride to MIT!

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  59. Excellent work. You are right that Muslims are not the only victims of idiotic zero tolerance policies. On the other hand you don’t have to look to far into the comments section to see the basis of concern. For some reason all kinds of idiotic “possible” theories come up without a shred of evidence just because the kid’s from a Muslim family.

  60. Ahmed was detained and suspended for committing a BOMB HOAX in his school. Once he took it apart it ceased being a clock. All evidence is that he did it deliberately with the intention to frighten others. The fact that this has been spun as a “clock” story by our national media should disturb ANY American, Left or Right. And the entitlement this has created for the Islamists who surround him – There is something very wrong with this picture. It is a disgraceful misplay of racism and social justice. What they are doing is creating a culture that silences those who place safety first – and aids the spread of political Islamism in the United States.

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