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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5/6/2013 9:46:32 AM
next we should convict kids who play with guns and shoots someone with murder. As a kid of the 70s, I was completely taken with chemical reactions (and to be honest, I caused a few unintended explosions in a vacant lot or two myself). What was the crime here? Detonating an explosive device? Happens every 4th of July. I think this will retard scientific curiosity in children. Kids are supposed to make mistakes and do foolish things (I guess no one in this group jumped their bike over a ramp unsupervised, or jumped off of a garage or any numerous things that we can now look back on and say they were foolish. Show of hands, how many of you were as mature at 16 as you are now?) They are children after all. As adults, aren't we supposed to correct them and guide them the correct way. I think expulsion and an arrest are a lot over the top in this post 9/11 society. I don't think Bin Laden's plan was to terrorize us with what could happen, but to make us all crazy enough to arrest children for stupid mistakes.
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