This is really unfortunate to see this happen and it's really no wonder why this kid got chastised for this. I'm sure it boiled down to this: Kid proud of his achievement (regardless if his own classmates were going to grapple the concept of what he did or not), . Heck, name one kid you didn't know that wanted to show something they bought/got/made/received to show their friends or a teacher they lookup to; my kids do it ALL THE TIME. Now with the larger population, not everyone is bringing in home-brew EE projects, but the majority of us can wrap out minds around what we're presented with. Get something slightly technical or outside our metal capacity or comfort zone and everyone starts shitting themselves and crying chicken little.
What you never hear in these situations is a success story where teacher/educator saw mind-blowing potential in this that their school system was never (repeat, NEVER) going to aide this student in, reached out to some maker group in the city and got the kid and his parents introduced and/or involved. Nope, we just see school board dick swinging to the 3rd degree and toss the quick-to-use endangerment card.
I wish I was dabbling with EE at 14 vs early 20's and I'm sure glad my boss hasn't labeled me a metal-box-bomb-toting-going-postal-terrorist and fired me for the nixie tube clock I am staring at right now while typing this.