Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-03-13

Florida Teenager Arrested Over 'Science Experiment'

A 16 year old student in Bartow, Florida was arrested under felony charges earlier this week after a science experiment caused smoke and a loud noise on school property.

Kiera Wilmot* mixed toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in an 8oz plastic bottle for a science experiment after hearing it would produce non-toxic smoke from a friend. The reaction caused the top to pop off and smoke to come out of the bottle. No one was injured and no property was damaged. When questioned by the principal and teacher, Wilmot responded that it was a science experiment, but after it was determined that the teacher had not known of her experiment, the police were called. Wilmot was charged with felony possession/discharge of a firearm and discharging a destructive device. She will be charged as an adult. Wilmot was also expelled from school and will have to complete her high school degree through an expulsion program.

Principal Ron Pritchard told reporters that he believed she was simply doing an experiment. "She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don't think she meant to ever hurt anyone. She wanted to see what would happen and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked, too... She is a good kid. She has never been in trouble before. Ever... She told us everything and was very honest," he continued. "She didn't run or try to hide the truth. We had a long conversation with her." A statement released by the Polk County School district said "Anytime a student makes a bad choice it is disappointing to us. Unfortunately, the incident that occurred at Bartow High School yesterday was a serious breach of conduct. In order to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment, we simply must uphold our code of conduct rules."

Kathleen Nolan, Princeton lecturer and author of Police in the Hallways: Discipline in an Urban High School told reporters "This young woman faces expulsion, felony charges and a criminal record because of what appears to be misguided curiosity. These zero-tolerance laws have put into place a mindlessness where individuals no longer think through these kind of situations and use their discretion."

*Though the student in question is only 16, her name was used since she will be tried as an adult.

Media Resources: MSNBC 5/2/2013; USA Today 5/2/2013; WTSP 5/1/2013; Miami New Times 4/26/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

11/21/2014 STATEMENT: Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds President's Executive Order on Immigration - Statement from Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president: "The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama for taking much needed executive action to help fix our broken immigration system that has for too long torn hardworking families apart. . . .
 
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .
 
11/21/2014 UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan - United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .