Brown: Obama’s progressive overreach on ‘cool clock’ (column) |

Brown: Obama’s progressive overreach on ‘cool clock’ (column)

Susan Stamper Brown
Special to the Daily

What’s a teacher to do if he sees a wired briefcase that looks like a homemade bomb in the classroom?

Obviously, not apply the Obama administration’s “If you see something, say something” rule. Nor should they follow the school’s zero-tolerance policy to keep students safe, like school administrators in Irving, Texas did after 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed brought to class what he said was a homemade clock.

What happened after may or may not have been overreach by school officials, but, considering what’s happening in the world today, who’s to judge? Rather than saying “Good job” to MacArthur High School administrators for looking out for the kids, they’re being demonized. What too many call “Islamophobia” is really nothing more than what happens when liberals try to insert their ideology into every facet of our lives.

Back in 1994, former President Bill Clinton signed the Gun-Free Schools Act, requiring school districts in all 50 states to adopt policies of “zero tolerance” regarding firearms and weapons or risk loss of federal funding, resulting in good kids being punished for the dumbest reasons.

Last year, a little Ohio boy was suspended for what the school principal called a “level 2 look-a-like firearm.” In reality, all he did is what little boys do: He made his fingers look like a gun and pointed it. Ohio Department of Education statistics for the school year prior reflect 419 students statewide were suspended and 38 expelled for “firearm look-a-likes.”

A 7-year-old Maryland boy was suspended in 2013 for playing with his food in the school cafeteria. Unfortunately, the “mountain” he tried to form from a pastry looked more like a gun to school officials. The boy told a local TV station, Fox45, his creation “was already a rectangle, and I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top — and it kinda (sic) looked like a gun — but is wasn’t.”

Earlier this year, another Texas boy was suspended because he said he could make a classmate “invisible” like Bilbo Baggins did in “The Lord of the Rings” movie he’d just watched at home with his family.

What? Whatever happened to common sense? Since Bill Clinton’s nonsensical zero-tolerance school act, there’s been example after example of kids getting punished simply for being kids. And, until now, to my knowledge, none of them received personal invitations to bring their finger guns, pastry creations and Hobbit rings to the White House.

Why did Obama ask Ahmed?

Why’d he choose a teen whose homemade “clock” in a briefcase would have caused the Secret Service to call the bomb squad had Ahmed taken a field trip and inadvertently left his briefcase on Pennsylvania Avenue?

Pictures provided by the Irving Police Department show the invention looks nothing like the clocks in my house. It could easily have been mistaken by an untrained eye for something much more devious. I’ll bet that “cool clock” still gets a Secret Service once-over before it is allowed in the White House.

What is clear is Obama picks and chooses favorites just like he picks and chooses laws. We also see that zero tolerance is a good example of how much harm good intentions can inflict. Like so many progressive ideas, zero tolerance sounds noble, but, without applied common sense, kids and parents alike are caught explaining to authorities how little Johnny’s mash potato pistol presented no real danger to the public.

Susan Stamper Brown is a recovering political pundit from Alaska, who does her best to make sense of current day events using her faith. Email Susan at:

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