Abbott says Irving teen with clock shouldn't have been arrested

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said police and school officials could have acted differently in the case of a young Irving teen arrested after his homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb.

“The last thing we want to do is put handcuffs on a kid unjustifiably,” Abbott said.

Abbott was in Dallas on Thursday afternoon for a grassroots town hall event at Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum. Reporters after the event asked Abbott about Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old whose story went national after he was arrested and suspended.

“It looks like they could have done a better job of balancing interests to have prevented this young man from having to go through that situation,” Abbott said.

Abbott added that creating a safe learning environment at schools in the state is “one of the most important things” officials can do, but that need should be balanced by making sure classrooms are a place where children can learn.

“It’s very unfortunate what happened,” Abbott said.