In Portland, Oregon, a 15-year-old Sandy High School student named Levi Frunk has been suspended for bringing a bomb to school.
However, it wasn’t actually a bomb, but rather a homemade charger that he uses for his cell phone, reports local station KATU.
The controversy started when Frunk was lifting weights and his football coach noticed the suspicious device. The coach alerted security and began evacuating the premises, presumably fearing that a terrorist plot was afoot.
Although Frunk successfully explained that it was merely a harmless charger, the school decided a suspension was warranted anyway, citing the student handbook which decrees the punishment of suspension for disruptions of school.
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As a result of being kicked out of class for a day-and-a-half, Frunk will miss playing in his homecoming football game, and the all-important coronation of the Homecoming King and Queen.
“I’m a little upset I can’t play in my game tomorrow, but it was pretty fair,” he said, acknowledging that his charger does indeed look like a bomb to some people.
His family is also taking the whole thing in stride because building a homemade cell phone charger is nothing unusual for Frunk.
His sister, Kiki Stonebraker, explains: “He’s super smart. He’s always built things, he’s always taking things apart. ... I guess just knowing my brother and growing up with him, that stuff was laying around our house all the time.”
The Frunk incident recalls the Sept. 2015 case of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texan who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that staff thought was a bomb, as summarized on the Wired website.
Mohamed was suspended from school, but criminal charges against him were dropped. Meanwhile, the young Islamic clock-builder won the admiration of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who posted an online message which said, “Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you.”