Reported by Liku Zelleke
A couple of weeks ago the headlines were all about how Ahmed Mohammed, a 14-year-old inventor, created a digital clock at home and it was mistaken for a bomb when he decided to take it to school and show it to his science teacher.
He was quickly arrested.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Two years ago, Kiera Wilmot was a 16-year-old student at Bartow High School in Polk County, Fla., when a similar thing happened to her. She had mixed toilet-bowl cleaner and tinfoil in a water bottle as part of her project – an erupting volcano.
While she was demonstrating her mixture to her fellow students something went wrong – a “pop” was heard from the bottle, the cap flew off and smoke billowed out of it.
Now 19, Wilmot recalls, “No rights read to me; [I was] taken in a police car from school to a juvenile assessment center.”
When she heard Ahmed’s story and realized the same thing had happened again, she said she “was thinking, how could this happen again?”
Yet, she was amazed by the outpouring of support the young boy has received from all over and in solidarity with his situation. This support has even come all the way from the top – right up from the White House.
“I think what they did was amazing. How he had all the support behind him, and what took my charges to be dropped within a month took him only a week,” Wilmot said.
If her own personal and first-hand experience is anything to go by, it seems Wilmot is the exact right person that can give advice to Ahmed. When reporters asked her if she had any words of wisdom for him, she encouraged him, as many others have, and told him to keep building and keep creating.
“I’d tell him he has to keep moving forward and not let the haters get to him,” she said.