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Florida Teen Kiera Wilmot Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Explodes At High School

Submitted by on May 2, 2013 – 10:12 amNo Comment

Kiera Wilmot hoped her science experiment would land her an A+. Instead, the 16-year-old landed in handcuffs.

Wilmot, a student at the Bartow High School, mixed a number of chemicals typically found in any household, into a water bottle and was shocked when the concoction caused a small explosion and emitted smoke. According to the Miami New Times, “[A] police report … indicates Wilmot mixed toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil—a combination that has inspired hundreds of YouTube videos and generally produces a fairly unimpressive explosion.”

While no one was harmed and no property was damaged, Wilmot was handcuffed by a school resource officer and later charged with “possession/discharge of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device,” according to Florida-based station WTSP News. Prosecutors intend to charge her as an adult.

Described by her principal as a “good kid,” school officials said they had no choice but to expel Wilmot for what was clearly a harmless accident. “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.”

Bartow High School has received flack and criticism for expelling Wilmot and Polk County School issued 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.”

Do you think the Bartow High School treated Wilmot too harshly or were their actions justified in the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombings?

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