A 12-year-old Sikh boy in Texas was arrested last week after a “bully” allegedly reported the student had a bomb in his backpack and made a threat towards their school.
Armaan Singh was arrested on Dec. 11 on a charge of making a terrorist threat towards a junior high school in Arlington, The Dallas Morning News reported.
According to the Morning News, police said that Singh admitted to saying that he had a bomb in his schoolbag but was only joking around.
“People have got to learn they cannot make these types of threats, which cause alarm, which cause evacuations,” police spokesman Lt. Christopher Cook told the newspaper. “Just because you say it’s a joke, it doesn’t get you out of trouble.”
Singh told the newspaper that the day before the incident he was opening his backpack at the end of class when the student in front of him said the bag looked like a bomb. Singh’s schoolbag has a battery pack used to charge small devices, such as a mobile phone.
The following day, Singh said he thought his classmate was joking when he said he would tell the teacher the Singh had a bomb.
“I thought it was just a joke,” Singh told the newspaper. “I started laughing and he started laughing too. The police came in and they grabbed me and just took me outside in the hallway.”
The student was hauled away from the school and spent three days in a juvenile detention centre over the weekend. He was also suspended from school for three days.
However, the family of the seventh grader claims it was the “bully,” a fellow classmate, who was behind the bomb hoax.
Singh’s cousin, Ginee Haer, took to Facebook following the incident claiming Singh was a victim of racism and bullying.
(WARNING: This Facebook post contains language that may offend some readers.)
“On Friday, December 11th, 2015, my cousin attended school, like any other normal 12 year old child. A bully in class thought it would be funny to accuse him of having a bomb, and so the principal, without any questioning, interrogation, or notification to his parents, called the police.
“It hurts my heart and boils my blood that there are people stupid enough out there not only accusing us, but our innocent children of being terrorists! It sickens me even more that there are people even more stupid out there, taking their word for it,” Haer wrote.
Singh’s arrest comes three months after a Muslim teenager was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to his suburban Dallas high school.
Ahmed Mohamed was suspended for three days and questioned by police in September after a teacher at MacArthur High School in Irving said Mohamed’s invention looked like a bomb.