Armaan Singh Sarai, a 12 year old Sikh boy in Arlington, Texas, spent three days in a juvenile detention center because a battery pack in his book bag was mistaken for a bomb. According to a Facebook post by his cousin, a bully in his class told the teacher that the battery pack was a bomb and the teacher called the police. Without any sort of warning or contact of his parents, Armann was on his way to jail.
This sounds like another version of “clock boy” all over again. However, the story gets a little more complicated because there are reports that Armaan (and other students) were making “jokes” about blowing up the school even before the bully said anything about the battery pack. These “jokes” entirely change the story. Any sort of threat about blowing up a school should be taken seriously, but the question is whether the school acted too harshly and too hastily.Despite the troubling remarks made by Armann, I think it’s very possible that the promptness of the school to send Armaan to jail was due to his brown skin. Prejudice against Muslims and racism against people with brown skin are definite problems in America. However, when a student “jokes” about blowing up the school, I do see why there was concern. Could this situation have been handled better? Probably. But again, I’d be very curious to see how the school would have acted if the same situation occurred with a white child.
Featured image from Dallas Morning News Screen Grab