Print 93 comment(s) - last by leftcheek.. on May 12 at 4:20 PM

She was arrested and charged for possession and discharge of a weapon on school property too

A teenage girl from Florida has been expelled from her high school for an accidental explosion caused by mixing chemicals together [outside] on school grounds.

Kiera Wilmot, 16, a Bartow High School student in Florida, was expelled from school when her chemistry experiment exploded. She was mixing some household chemicals (toilet cleaner and aluminum foil) in an 8-ounce water bottle when the top popped off unexpectedly and an explosion occurred.

According to Wilmot, she thought this combination would simply create a bit of smoke, and that the explosion was an accident.

However, Wilmot was arrested on Monday and charged with possession and discharge of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device. 

Kiera Wilmot

She was also expelled from school, and will now have to continue her high school career in an expulsion program.

These extreme consequences are due to zero-tolerance programs, which were enacted in schools in 1994. At that time, Congress required states to adopt laws that expelled students who brought firearms to school for at least a year. All 50 states adopted the laws in order to receive federal funding.

Many are in opposition of these laws, saying that it isn't fair to good kids who make occasional mistakes. Many oppose what happened to Wilmot as well, but the school district has responded to the incident saying that they reacted properly, as the law requires. 

"Unfortunately, what she did falls into our code of conduct," Leah Lauderdale, a spokeswoman for the district, tells Riptide. "It's grounds for immediate expulsion.

"We urge our parents to convey to their kids that there are consequences to their actions."

Lauderdale said Wilmot can challenge her expulsion, but there's no word on whether she has or not at this point. 

Sources: Yahoo News, Huffington Post, Miami New Times

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RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By ppardee on 5/3/2013 4:12:44 PM , Rating: 4
She needs supervision to do science?

She was away from buildings and away from people. Her intent was not to cause destruction or injury. It was a science experiment even if it wasn't in science class.

Does it matter WHY she did it? She took the proper precautions and had an unexpected reaction. Even if it was an EXPECTED reaction, she still did it in a way that it minimized risk.

This should be taken as a learning experience and an opportunity to teach other children about experiment safety. We shouldn't use it as an opportunity to tell children they should stay away from playing with science because it will get you arrested. These people are fools.

Or is your point that she was intending to use this to hurt people in the future and we should punish people for what we believe they are going to do/could do with the knowledge they acquire?

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By Motoman on 5/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By Darksurf on 5/3/2013 5:46:10 PM , Rating: 4
If you told Albert Einstein that making the Atomic Bomb wasn't science, He'd slap you silly! ;)

It was science. Seriously, who isn't amused by smoke and explosions? We shoot off fireworks for celebrations. As long as nobody was injured and she didn't go out to create an actually destructive and or elaborate bomb in an area where people could seriously be hurt, this couldn't be considered intentional. She may have not known better. I seriously had no clue about this mixture and I've taken Chem1&2 and Organic Chem1&2 in college!

Some people are curious and gullible. Why pick on the sheltered kids cause they have an 'ideal' view of things that doesn't actually exist? If anyone would have been hurt it would have been her. She's fine.

Next thing you know, Dry Ice will be the next 'weapon' of choice. Heck, go all out. Lets call it assault when someone gets hit with a bottle rocket on the 4th of July.

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By Motoman on 5/3/2013 6:23:11 PM , Rating: 1

Technically everything is "science" - which is to say, something that happens in the real, physical world. You masturbating in your mom's basement is "science" from that standpoint.

What she was doing, though, was not "research" or any kind...she was not doing an "experiment" or in any way trying to improve upon our understanding of the universe.

She was making a bomb. And she knows it.

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By rameshms on 5/3/2013 11:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
You're being harsh.. If she wanted to make a bomb, she'd look up the pressure cooker bomb recipe and blow it somewhere where it'd get most attention.
Clearly she (and may be few friends) was curious on the recipe and try it out. Maybe she could've picked a more secluded place to do it. But again, she's 16.
Expelling student for being curious is ridiculous.

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By TSS on 5/4/2013 5:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's ridicolous, unless you want to send a message to everybody who's left not to be curious, or to hide your actions, etc.

Then it makes perfect sense.

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By SlyNine on 5/4/2013 2:22:53 AM , Rating: 2
Albert Einstein blasted the use of the bomb and had a huge moral dilemma when he helped write that letter. I don't think he wanted the bomb to ever be created. For him it really was a, lesser of two evils, dilemma.

By inighthawki on 5/4/2013 5:02:32 AM , Rating: 2
That doesn't make it any less science.

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By inperfectdarkness on 5/4/2013 9:22:42 AM , Rating: 1
It may be science, but it's also teaching immature HS students how to make a bomb. NOT cool.

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By leftcheek on 5/12/2013 4:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently from most peoples comments most teenagers already know how to make this bomb so she isn't teaching them a damn thing.

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By Reclaimer77 on 5/5/2013 1:55:29 PM , Rating: 4
Man, Daily Tech is an excellent case study in how media bias effects the average person.

You've read an article that's stunningly bereft of facts and unbiased presentation, purposely geared to be sympathetic to this girl, and off to the races you go. Without a shred of common sense or critical thinking.

She needs supervision to do science?

Duh? What if it blew up in her face and injured her or even killed her? We all know how that ends. A massive lawsuit levied against the school district, teacher, etc etc. And rightfully so.

Are you an idiot? Of course students need to be supervised in school. Did you even GO to school? Maybe where you went to school students had unbridled freedom somehow, but I sure didn't.

These rules are put in place to protect the students as much as it protects the school system from being sued for negligence. You're making these people out to be Fascists or something.

Does it matter WHY she did it? She took the proper precautions and had an unexpected reaction.

Again, ask yourself, what if a student did this or something like this, and he/she WAS injured or killed? It's happened before man! Get a clue.

This should be taken as a learning experience and an opportunity to teach other children about experiment safety.

I agree. And now they've learned that if you go off on your own, unsupervised, with the intention of making an explosion or similar "experiment", you get punished.

We shouldn't use it as an opportunity to tell children they should stay away from playing with science because it will get you arrested.

LMAO ok, you're an idiot. Do you really think anyone is coming away from this with the opinion that "science" is now wrong? That's really the lesson being learned here in your opinion? Absurd...

She wasn't doing "science", come on, use your brain please.

RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
By ppardee on 5/6/2013 7:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
My bias comes from my own experience as a high school student experimenting with dangerous things, not from an article I read on the internet. If you think kids are supervised in school, especially high school, you are very naive.

I went to an inner city high school (and I have a bachelor's degree, so you could say that I went to school). We had security guards whose job it was to make sure riots didn't break out. They weren't always successful. Students sold and used drugs on campus. Fights were routine. I was free to do essentially whatever I wanted as long as I stayed on campus and wasn't damaging school property or being conspicuous about not being in class. Your school might have had supervision, but I assure you it is not the norm.

If she had sinister intent, why did she tell adults about what she did? She wanted to see what would happen if she mixed two things together in a closed space. She believed she would get smoke. She observed that an explosion took place. Observe, Hypothesize, Test. That's science. In an era of Observe, Hypothesize, Believe (Looking at you AGW), most people wouldn't know science if it took their mom to prom.

If you believe the action the school and law enforcement too won't discourage kids from doing things that might not turn out exactly the way they think, you don't understand kids. Teens are risk takers. They're explorers. She was doing what is normal and healthy for her age and intellect. These nanny-state thugs came in and said "OH NO! We might get sued!" And took an innocent child's innocence away. I guarantee you this is not about her safety because their reaction to a legitimate experiment has done more harm to this child than anything else in the situation.

Example of the right reaction from my history:
Me: "My friend and I melted sugar and salt peter down and poured it into aluminum cans (cut in half) then stuck strike anywhere matches in the mixture before it solidified. It made a wicked red flame, a ton of white smoke and burned so hot, there wasn't anything left of the can when it was done"

My Dad: "Cool! The salt peter acted as an oxidizer and the sugar was the fuel. You need to be careful when you do that though. You don't want to start a fire when you set it off, so make sure there aren't any overhead branches, you're far away from buildings and there isn't any loose debris on the ground. Also, when you melt it down, if you aren't careful with the heat, it will ignite while you're mixing it and could burn the house down. And don't use your mom's pots."

End result is I enjoyed science, which is more than we can say about science class. No one went to jail. No one got suspended. No one got hurt. Everyone had a good time. Exact opposite of this poor girl's experience.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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