Florida Teenager Expelled, Arrested for Accidental "Science Experiment" Explosion
May 3, 2013 2:00 PM
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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.
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.
Miami New Times
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RE: Disgusting and short-sighted
5/4/2013 5:41:49 AM
Expelling someone for experimenting with science? That's really being over sensitive. It's really just a result of the modern tendency to file all edges off, put guards on everything and warning signs everywhere. If you think of it, who cares that she made a bomb? Her intention was not to cause harm with it, so why bother? I tried my own designs using shotgun shell gunpower and who knows what while at school. The most rewarding experiment was building a potato cannon and testing for the most explosive propellant (alcohol based sprays work the best). Luckily there are no 'protect the idiots' laws in my country for that type of stuff. The important point being that I researched my design's safety precautions about as well as i researched the design itself. Never had a mishap.
The logical result of this is that creativity gets stifled, school kids need to be given the intellectual freedom to experiment in responsible ways. You simply can't put people in a safety bubble and expect them never to come to harm. The school should have called her in and quizzed her about the procedures she had followed in making the experiment. If it really was careless then they could put her on probation for sloppy academic research work. But this way you're only teaching kids that to test the boundaries of imagination is a crime. It's not. Really, if you think of it, why are we so obsessed with keeping everyone so damn safe? Sh*t happens in life, people get hurt sometimes, its a fact, accept it and get over it. There really is no use in a society devoid of all sources of harm. All you'll get is a mushy-can't stand up to anything culture. Time to get some perspective...
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