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Possible future 16 year old Felon! 2 Felony charges as an adult.

Posted by on May. 2, 2013 at 9:14 PM
  • 47 Replies



Kiera Wilmot is a 16-year-old Bartow, Florida high school student whose life has been forever altered by either a) a science project gone bad; or b) her own curiosity.

According to WTSP.com, on Monday, Kiera was arrested and expelled from Bartow High School. She was charged with possession and discharge of a weapon on school property, as well as discharging a destructive device.

The Root.com says that the teen was curious to perform an experiment for an upcoming Science Fair. Wilmot mixed a common over-the-counter toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in an 8-ounce water bottle. She had been told by a friend that the mixture would produce non-toxic smoke.

And so it did. The bottle's top blew off with a loud “bang,” and a considerable amount of smoke.

Assistant Principal Dan Durham, as reported by the Washington Times, heard the noise, made a cursory “investigation,” and immediately called the police. The arrest report can be found here.

Again, the offensive chemicals allegedly used by Wilmot were strictly legal and no one was hurt.

Her actions, however, violated the school’s “zero tolerance” code of conduct policy. To wit: Expulsion of any student is non-negotiable and mandated when he or she is found “in possession of a bomb or explosive device…while at a school, a school activity or a school bus…unless it’s used as part of a school-related activity sanctioned by and conducted by a teacher.”

All who know this young lady say that these charges and this incident have been blown way out of proportion. Assistant Principal Durham himself, for example, calls Kiera a "good kid" who's "never been in trouble before – ever."

Yet, this selfsame principal's knee-jerk and bureaucracy-laden reaction was to call the police on her, stand by as she was arrested, and later (after having had time to reflect on the matter and actually having discussed the incident with her) assent to her permanentexpulsion from his school.

His later remarks about the affair seem more than a little self-serving: "She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don't think she meant to ever hurt anyone. She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked too."

Wilmot's fellow students and many friends all describe her actions as "a science project gone bad, that she never meant to hurt anyone." As one of her fellow students told WSTB: "She just wanted to see what happened to those chemicals in the bottle. Now, look what happened."

Kiera Wilmot now faces three felony charges, and will be tried as an adult, rather than in the juvenile criminal justice system of the great state of Florida. If found guilty of any one of the charges, she is marked for life with the "F-word" -- felon.

Opinion

So, was this curiosity? Or, was it a science project gone wrong?

Or was this 16-year-old part of some nefarious conspiracy ring determined to wreak havoc upon South Florida? Perhaps she was yet another disaffected “lone wolf” who held a deep-seated, murderous grudge against her school, her classmates, her state, her world?

The only relevant question here is was this a true bomb plot?

The Miami New Times has urged school children everywhere to be careful: “So, sorry kids. Don’t try any extracurricular science projects on school grounds, especially if they could result in anything resembling an explosion.”

This is a disturbing story should which should concern each and every student and parent in this nation-state's public education system.

As the Reason Magazine article referenced below observed, “[T]he only person in this story facing a serious threat to her safety and security is the girl who might have to serve a prison sentence — but then, she doesn’t go to Bartow High anymore, so perhaps the school system doesn’t think she counts.”

I was wrong. There is another relevant question here: Have this nation-states' schools become bureaucratic prisons wherein reason, intelligence, and, yes, tolerance, are forfeited in the pursuit of “security?”

Cevin Soling has put together a compelling documentary called War on Kids. I highly recommend it:

“Public schools have essentially been turned into prisons with constant surveillance and harsh, often absurd zero tolerance policies towards drugs, alcohol, weapons, violence and other forms of misbehavior. Things that would’ve earned you a visit with a counselor or the principal can now get you expelled.”

Another question: Are school administrators no longer servicing their charges and their community, but functioning essentially as overseers of their schools like jail or prison wardens – or slave masters?

One more question: Are teachers now mere glorified babysitters, disallowed from actually challenging students to reach for the stars?

Lord knows America desperately needs more scientists, engineers, artists, writers –thinkers.

One example will do here. Thomas Alva Edison conducted thousands upon thousands of failed experiments, blowing up whole laboratories in the process, before he finally got it right. The result? That's why you are able to read this report right now by artificial (electric) light rather than gas or candlelight.

References

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/05/02/florida_teen_arrested_after_science_experiment_explodes.html

http://www.wtsp.com/news/reporter/article/312878/79/Teen-girl-arrested-for-science-project-gone-bad

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57582330-71/schoolgirl-tries-science-experiment-arrested-for-felony/

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/citizenwarrior/2013/may/1/florida-schoolgirl-charged-felony-science/#ixzz2S625KESI

https://www.facebook.com/Reason.Magazine http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/01/kiera-wilmot-arrested-science-experiment_n_3194768.html

http://now.msn.com/science-project-gone-bad-gets-kiera-wilmot-expelled-arrested

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57582330-71/schoolgirl-tries-science-experiment-arrested-for-felony/

Herbert Dyer, Jr. is based in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.



Okay how do you feel about this Mama's? What would you say if it was your child? Is the school right, is FL right? Or have our laws that are meant to protect our children began hurting them instead.

Mama Ajax @ Blogger

Just a little bit my life experiences.

by on May. 2, 2013 at 9:14 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MamaAjax
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:19 PM

BUMP!

MamaAjax
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:43 PM

BUMP!

dlock25
by New Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:46 PM
6 moms liked this
I seriously think school officials have lost all common sense.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
MamaAjax
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:53 PM

I think the whole system is cracking from underneath us. This isn't the first story in our area like this. A few years back a school charged a 12-year old boy after he turned his pocket knife over to a teacher upon discovering he accidentally brought it to school (which was first thing in the morning). The judge threw out the case, but the school still suspended him for 10 days. And there's so many other stories around her that just leave me flabbergasted.


Quoting dlock25:

I seriously think school officials have lost all common sense.



Mama Ajax @ Blogger

Just a little bit my life experiences.

Ayshren
by Member on May. 3, 2013 at 2:21 AM

They took that shit too far!

Anonymous
by Anonymous on May. 3, 2013 at 2:27 AM

Thats taking it way to far. It was a science project...not a fucking bomb.

The school is wrong, so very very wrong. Whats the point of even having a science fair if you don't let your students explore their curiosities..thats what its about right.

The same could have been said for my science project in the first grade. I mixed vinegar, and baking soda, and blew up ballons until they popped....by their definition of what a bomb is.....that could be considered a bomb.

 

Now a days, I could have been expelled for doing that project. Our society is going down hill fast.

anotherhalf
by on May. 3, 2013 at 2:47 AM
1 mom liked this

I think my head just exploded. 

Not only am I astonished at the school but also at the DA pursuing charges against her, and as an adult.  This damn world has lost its mind.

thefiregoddess
by Member on May. 3, 2013 at 2:53 AM
That's nuts
Anonymous
by Anonymous on May. 3, 2013 at 2:54 AM

Um, my cousin and his entire class just did this as a science experiment like 2 weeks ago...that's kind of bullshit. Her whole life has just been ruined over a freaking science project? What stupidity. Thus why more parents are turning to homeschooling.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on May. 3, 2013 at 2:54 AM
3 moms liked this
She's not going to get convicted folks, if she even gets tried at all. The DA has to choose to try her.

I look into my crystal ball and I see-----a lawsuit from the parents----- over defamation---- and---and---- (if the principal was white)---a NAACP lawyer representing her.

I'm not being sarcastic, she deserves off the hook and she deserves her good name restored. And lawsuits are what it takes in the great state of Florida where you can claim you feared for your life and shoot someone dead 100% legit.
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