CHICAGO: A Muslim teenager who became an overnight sensation after a Texas teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb has been withdrawn from his school, local media reported Tuesday.
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, won invitations to the White House, Google and Facebook last week amid a surge of public support for the aspiring inventor who was taken away from school in handcuffs.
“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,” Obama tweeted hours after the story broke.
Mohamed’s father told the Dallas Morning News that all three of the family’s children are being withdrawn from the Irving Independent School District.
“These kids aren’t going to be happy there,” Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed told the paper.
The sudden attention, while welcome, has been overwhelming for the family and Ahmed hasn’t been eating or sleeping well, his father said.
“It’s torn the family, and makes us very confused,” Mohamed said.
Plenty of schools have offered to take Ahmed, but his father thinks a bit of a break is in order.
The family will be flying to New York on Wednesday after receiving invitations to meet with dignitaries at the United Nations.
They are also trying to get visas to take Ahmed on a pilgrimage to Makkah.
“I ask Allah to bless this time,” Mohamed said. “After that, we’ll see.”
The son of Sudanese immigrants who live in a Dallas suburb, the young robotics fan brought in a home-made clock to impress a new teacher at MacArthur High School.
“It was really sad that she took the wrong impression of it and I got arrested,” he told reporters last week.
Local police insisted that Mohammed’s ethnicity had nothing to do with the decision to arrest him on suspicion of bringing a hoax bomb to school. No charges were laid after it was determined the teen had no malicious intent.
Along with the invitation to astronomy night at the White House next month, Mohamed also got a scholarship to NASA’s Space Camp invitations to drive NASA’s Opportunity rover, tour MIT and intern at Twitter.
He posted a picture of himself visiting “amazing projects and people” at Google’s science fair on his Twitter account, @IStandWithAhmed, Monday.