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

8/1/2014 Constitutional Court Invalidates Uganda's Anti-Gay Law - Uganda's Constitutional Court today struck down - on procedural grounds - a package of anti-gay policies signed into law this February by President Yoweri Museveni, but left room for lawmakers to attempt to pass the law, or another version of it, again. Ten petitioners, including activists, academics, advocates, and MPs, challenged the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act in court, claiming that it was passed improperly and violated the constitutional rights of Ugandans to live free from discrimination and with privacy and dignity. . . .
 
8/1/2014 Congress Introduces Legislation to Protect Students from Sexual Assault - A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. The Campus Accountability and Safety Act, cosponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Dean Heller (R-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), focuses on steps colleges can take to proactively protect students. . . .
 
8/1/2014 A Call for Action to Reduce Gun Deaths Among Victims of Domestic Violence - Over 250 people gathered inside the Dirksen Senate building on Wednesday to support legislation aimed at decreasing intimate partner homicide through gun violence. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chaired the standing-room only Senate Judiciary Committee hearing - which required an overflow room - and was joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. . . .