Twitter is ablaze again. This time it’s about the story of Ahmed the 14 year old Texan schoolboy arrested for taking a home-made clock into school. The whole thing is a perfect storm of small-town xenophobia and the idiotic “zero tolerance” policies so beloved of small-minded petty authoritarians.
Of course they knew it wasn’t a bomb. You can tell they knew it wasn’t a bomb by the simple fact they didn’t evacuate the school. As was pointed out on Twitter, there’s a strong element of humiliating the irritating smart kid who won’t conform. You wonder why bullying of “geeks” is endemic in American schools? It’s because whole educational cultures from administrators down encourage it.
A educational establishment that stifles the enthusiasm of the next generation of scientists and engineers isn’t going to produce a community with a thriving technology industry. I can’t imagine any startup or existing business wanting to open a new regional office wanting to invest in Irving, Texas. It’s a town that gives the impression it only wants to turn out insurance salesmen.
Not that racism isn’t still a major factor when the town’s mayor is a noxious bigot and is loudly defending the school’s actions in order to play to his racist base. And in The Great Venn Diagram Of Life, “Small-minded petty authoritarian” and “Racist bigot” have a significant overlap.