Florida Teenager Expelled, Arrested for Accidental "Science Experiment" Explosion
May 3, 2013 2:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
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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Not an accident
5/5/2013 10:39:06 PM
Either that, or a very dim science student.
Even if we ignore the fact that virtually every online source that describes the construction of the device clearly labels it a "bomb" and not a "smoke generation tool" and assume that the student 1) came up with the recipe herself and 2) somehow through her own independent research discovered the some toilet cleaners contain HCl and 3) decided to use that instead of the chemistry lab's supply of HCl, she's stupid for thinking that placing a chemical reaction that produces hydrogen gas inside of a closed container could do anything other than cause the container to rupture and spray acid on its immediate surroundings.
So she's very stupid. Or more likely, she's less stupid and fully intended the thing to explode, because that's what all the available instructions say it will do. The "accident"/"smoke machine" story is not believable at all.
That said, I think people should be able to build these "bombs" (and the slightly safer variants that use dry ice and water instead of acid and aluminium) without being labeled as terrorists/bomb-makers so long as they do it in a way that is safe and not disruptive to nearby people and property.
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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