A few of us current engineers got started as kids doing stupid things that only resembled real engineering. I used to spend my allowance at radio shack buying random components only to hook them up to a 9v battery and a metal file to make sparks.
Take away the backstory about how his dad probably used the kid for politics and political gain, and take away the family's scary religion, and you have a guy a lot of us would sympathize with. We were weird kids who did stupid things and scared people.
I guess if I sat around listening to the right wing shitstorm over the issue I might feel differently. As much as I am appalled at the family's lawsuit and monetary demands, I have to admit that they did a good job trolling a bunch of stupid school administrators and small town law enforcement. The over reaction of the school and cops opened them up to this. Seriously... interrogating a kid without his parents? I remember when they tried that shit on me.