This was the case
This was the inside
I find it humorous that conservativepost.com's picture link says "bomb.jpg" while KERA (local NPR station) has their picture link as "irving_clock.jpg"
I mean, I'm no electrical engineer or anything... but I see a pencil box (with no lock on it), a digital clock display with some flat cable connected to a circuit board, and then two connections: one for a 12 volt battery connector, and one to an electrical outlet switch, or whatever you call it. Also, the police were on campus already.
On the other hand, yeah, the kid was dumb for plugging it in when he was in his English class after his Engineering teacher told him to keep it to himself. The alarm never would have gone off if it didn't have power, and there wouldn't have been any issue.
That said, his dad has been in the national spotlight before, and that whole post-"5 minutes of fame" depression is a real thing. They may have just wanted back in the spotlight again, and knew that pushing the boundary just a little in Irving would be an easy way to do it without any real consequence.
Mishandled by the police on campus regardless though. I'm not gonna say that the community there isn't xenophobic, because a vocal minority there most certainly are.
Hopefully THIS time the national attention on Irving will help them. As Morty would say....