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It's gone wrong again 16 year old charged with 2 felonies for science project.

Posted by on May. 2, 2013 at 8:50 PM
  • 67 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.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?

ETA- I'd like to add. This girl is being charged with 2 felonies and an adult.

Mama Ajax @ Blogger

Just a little bit my life experiences.

by on May. 2, 2013 at 8:50 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MamaAjax
by Member on May. 2, 2013 at 9:01 PM

BUMP!

MamaAjax
by Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:42 PM

BUMP!

celestegood
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Wow. A felony???
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MamaAjax
by Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:45 PM


Turns out it's 3 and all as an adult. 

Quoting celestegood:

Wow. A felony???



Mama Ajax @ Blogger

Just a little bit my life experiences.

quickbooksworm
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:47 PM
2 moms liked this
I don't agree she should be charged with a felony. It isn't as innocent as it seems. She said she was mixing tin foil and toilet cleaner to see what would happen because she saw it on the internet. Well when I Google it, I find directions on how to make a bomb and warning of the dangers. So she knew she was making something, probably just thought it would be like Mentos and Coke. She should be suspended from school and given community service hours.
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MamaAjax
by Member on May. 2, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Suspended from school yes, community service hours might be good too. I just can't believe that they are charging this poor girl with 3 felonies and as an adult too!

I'm part of a movement trying to petition for her release. I think everyone's gone over board in their reactions. I'm really trying to raise awareness. We've had to many things in our area like this where schools are really trying to make examples out of fairly innocent kids.


Quoting quickbooksworm:

I don't agree she should be charged with a felony. It isn't as innocent as it seems. She said she was mixing tin foil and toilet cleaner to see what would happen because she saw it on the internet. Well when I Google it, I find directions on how to make a bomb and warning of the dangers. So she knew she was making something, probably just thought it would be like Mentos and Coke. She should be suspended from school and given community service hours.



Mama Ajax @ Blogger

Just a little bit my life experiences.

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Well, she built a mini bomb sort of.
MamaAjax
by Member on May. 3, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Depends. If she used drano or some sort of toilet bowl cleaner. Then yes. She did sort of make a bomb. Cause of the other chemicals

However this type of project has been used in school settings before so depending on the product used it really could be considered fairly harmless. We did this in my Chemisty Class back in High School. Though, not in a coke bottle.

The Aluminum is oxidized and loses e-, becoming Al 3+ and the copper ions are reduced (they accept those e-) to form solid copper precipitate. The aluminum ions and chloride ions remain in the solution. The reaction will only occur in water and occurs because the transfer of electrons from the aluminum to the copper results in a more stable system.

The chloride ion (Cl-) penetrates the aluminum oxide layer and allows the copper and aluminum react. Solutions of Copper II nitrate, copper II sulfate and others can be made to reacti with aluminum foil by dissolving NaCl into the solution.

Thus if you have a copper II sulfate solution mixed with sodium chloride, the reaction will take place.



So do you think it's really worth charging her as an adult with 3 felony charges?


Quoting kailu1835:

Well, she built a mini bomb sort of.



Mama Ajax @ Blogger

Just a little bit my life experiences.

Mipsy
by Bronze Member on May. 3, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Like I said in the other post of this, i do not believe for a second she was doing a science experiment. I believe she was goofing off. theres a rash of YouTube videos of kids doing this same exact "experiment" just to be stupid kids. I do not agree with them charging her with a felony! They are trying to make an example out of her and are failing to see how they are ruining a child's life. If they do a simple youtube search, I am sure they would find tons of other teens in their area doing the same crap yet aren't charging them.
Mipsy
by Bronze Member on May. 3, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Did you read the article just out of curiosity? It says she used toilet bowel cleaner.

Quoting MamaAjax:

Depends. If she used drano or some sort of toilet bowl cleaner. Then yes. She did sort of make a bomb. Cause of the other chemicals

However this type of project has been used in school settings before so depending on the product used it really could be considered fairly harmless. We did this in my Chemisty Class back in High School. Though, not in a coke bottle.

The Aluminum
is oxidized and loses e-, becoming Al 3+ and the copper ions are
reduced (they accept those e-) to form solid copper precipitate. The
aluminum ions and chloride ions remain in the solution. The reaction
will only occur in water and occurs because the transfer of electrons
from the aluminum to the copper results in a more stable system.



The chloride ion (Cl-) penetrates the aluminum oxide layer and allows
the copper and aluminum react. Solutions of Copper II nitrate, copper
II sulfate and others can be made to reacti with aluminum foil by
dissolving NaCl into the solution.



Thus if you have a copper II sulfate solution mixed with sodium chloride, the reaction will take place.



So do you think it's really worth charging her as an adult with 3 felony charges?



Quoting kailu1835:

Well, she built a mini bomb sort of.




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