Black teen's science exp goes awry; she is expelled, charged with a felony

I understand the potential dangers of chemicals, but a felony?

Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad

Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school, but that's exactly what happened after an attempt at a science project went horribly wrong.

On 7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.

According to WTSP, Wilmot told police that she was merely conducting a science experiment. Though her teachers knew nothing of the specific project, her principal seems to agree.

"She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don't think she meant to ever hurt anyone," principal Ron Pritchard told the station. "She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked, too."

After the explosion Wilmot was taken into custody by a school resources officer and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device. She will be tried as an adult.

She was then taken to a juvenile assessment center. She was also expelled from school and will be forced to complete her diploma through an expulsion program.

Polk County School released the following statement:

"Anytime a student makes a bad choice it is disappointing to us. Unfortunately, the incident that occurred at Bartow High School yesterday was a serious breach of conduct. In order to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment, we simply must uphold our code of conduct rules. We urge our parents to join us in conveying the message that there are consequences to actions. We will not compromise the safety and security of our students and staff."

So, sorry kids. Don't try any extracurricular science projects on school grounds, especially if they could result in anything resembling an explosion.


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This is a message to discourage African students and more like her. 

She made a bomb. Due to recent events people may be sensitive. Given time, calmer heads may prevail, but the message does need to be sent to not mix chemicals together to 'discover' the result.

Agree, however, I cannot help but feel that there is more to this story than just a disciplinary action. At best a parent conference, but not expelling.  

Gerald Dean Rice said:

She made a bomb. Due to recent events people may be sensitive. Given time, calmer heads may prevail, but the message does need to be sent to not mix chemicals together to 'discover' the result.

The question what are we/yall gon' do. 

I took action and contributed to her legal campaign and signed all the petitions regarding her case. You can do the same or you can contact the family and help in whatever way you can.

My sentiments exactly. And these fucking cops should know better.

Gerald Dean Rice said:

She made a bomb. Due to recent events people may be sensitive. Given time, calmer heads may prevail, but the message does need to be sent to not mix chemicals together to 'discover' the result.

This is shameful, especially since she'll be going to one of those alternative schools.  I use to teach at one.  Her scientific zeal will not be fostered there.  She'll be lucky if they can even keep her grades straight.  Our people have experienced a loss.  Shame...

She didn't intend to make a bomb, and she did so outside in an empty space because she was actually thinking about the safety of others.  She was trying to prevent a Boston Massacre, not accidentally cause one.  The school went overboard.  Bump their sensitivity. 

And mixing chemicals to 'discover' the result is the ENTIRE purpose of experimental chemistry.  You are aware that Marie Curie's work on radioactive material actually involved using radioactive material.  This student was actually more attentive and careful than a Nobel Prize winner and she's punished for it?  Bad call, school.

Gerald Dean Rice said:

She made a bomb. Due to recent events people may be sensitive. Given time, calmer heads may prevail, but the message does need to be sent to not mix chemicals together to 'discover' the result.

Perhaps a two day suspension but total expulsion and a criminal record was far too extreme! 

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