Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad

Categories: WTF Florida
kierawilmot.jpg

Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school, but that's exactly what happened after an attempt at a science project went horribly wrong.

See also:
- Florida School Responds To Criticism For Expelling Student Over Science Project: "There Are Consequences To Actions"

On 7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.

According to WTSP, Wilmot told police that she was merely conducting a science experiment. Though her teachers knew nothing of the specific project, her principal seems to agree.

"She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don't think she meant to ever hurt anyone," principal Ron Pritchard told the station. "She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked, too."


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1229 comments
eastsidegsquad
eastsidegsquad

So you would be happy to lock up a 16 year old girl for acting her age. everyone makes mistakes kids explore its the nature of being a kid. You speak like you have never did something without considering the danger it may cause. If we arrest everyone for their mistakes we would all be in prison. Stupidity at its finest!

sydneybacon95
sydneybacon95

Are you serious? They are really doing this to this girl? This is so ridiculous. Okay, fine. She shouldn't have tried something like that without adult supervision. She made a mistake. She's a kid! Kids make mistakes! As do adults. I highly doubt she thought it was going to explode. Yes, I agree, there are consequences for your actions, but this is beyond brutal. I can see a few detentions. I can even see a few days of out of school suspension, but expelling her? Charging her with a felony? Trying her as an adult? Over an accident? Come on. Accidents happen. There were no damages, and more importantly, no one was hurt. I know this girl didn't know what she was doing was considered a felony or her experiment was considered a weapon. Please, I was seventeen and had six razor blades in my possession (I used to self-harm) and my school just tried to help me. They could have easily expelled me and put me in jail, but they didn't. They just wanted me to get help. And that's what they should do for Kiera. If she likes conducting experiments, they should have her work with a chemistry teacher. So maybe the next time she's curious, she can have someone to ask instead of trying it on her own. Give the girl a break.

Teasel
Teasel

This girl should have been given a safety debriefing to remember, then made to repeat the experiment in front of the whole school, to show how exciting chemistry can be!  A friend of mine got suspended for a similar offence (ISTR he blew the roof off a shed!)  He went on to Cambridge University and ran explosives demonstrations for the chemistry society.  He is now a university professor and government adviser.  Let's hope Kiera is given the same opportunities in life after her mishap!

guadalupe.odiard
guadalupe.odiard

this is o unfair an ridiculous, they will stigmatize her for life and it was an accident. 

ivixl
ivixl

So ridiculously excessive on the part of the school. A ten day outdoor suspension would have sufficed. Now she's faced with criminal charges as an adult?!?!?! This is a child we're talking about.

chuckmader
chuckmader

Wow. Blaming the school, the chemistry teacher, etc. how about someone taking personal responsibility for their own actions.

Now, I'm not saying she should have been charged or expelled, as I don't think there was malicious intent, but how about just taking the responsibility. And that goes for the school. The principal makes the big bucks - make a hard decision.

And calling this a "science fair experiment" is like calling my teenage firecracker times the same. I say BS. The girl got caught. Admit it. Don't shirk the responsibility. That's the biggest problem around anymore. Pointing a finger instead of learning from it.

djroyalflush2008
djroyalflush2008

My question is why was she on school grounds unsupervised. Where were the adults. If the school wants to be technical the city needs to fine the district for letting students on grounds unsupervised

Dulcinita
Dulcinita

Thank  you Miami NewTimes for posting one of the youtube video's to show every idiot coming across your page who would have the inclination to try this dangerous stunt, the exact way to do it! You just allowed the few who might have been too lazy to go looking on youtube for the video the easy access needed to feed their desire to act out their own dumb demonstrations of idiocy. Great work there! 


The only "justice" that could possibly come from this is if all the other idiots who've bragged by posting their video's on youtube to be identified and charged with the same thing. Believe it, not one of them attempted this "experiment" without already having knowledge of what the potential outcome would be, so they are all guilty of intentionally creating a bomb. I'm sure if anyone asked on the video's, "who are these people, I want to be their friends!" someone is going to step up and identify them all. Bam! Clog the jails with them! The only terroristic acts they've committed are endangering themselves and all the idiots who stood around to watch it go "boom". Nevermind the poisonous gas and shrapnel from the explosion.. nah, they'd never consider that!

celeritas01
celeritas01

From what I can gather here, the crime is ignorance. I'd say it's the school who have to answer for that. If she didn't know what would happen when she mixed these things then I'd imagine it's the chemistry teacher who fell short, if anyone. That, or she had a minor lapse of judgement, in which case we can all rest easy, sure in that knowledge that Keira Wilmot is in fact human.


patriciapowell1953
patriciapowell1953

I want to know where the science teacher was and why there was no supervision.  What will the consequences be for the teacher?

Thomasj52
Thomasj52

IJSSS, the 19 year old who put boston in a mass frenzy was "a good kid with good grades too"


What if she accidentally made some serious... (chlorine/ammonia).... Could have put the entire building in danger....

Chemicalss are NOT something to play with!

oyekuofun
oyekuofun

This is wrong. the woman is obviously innocent. The incident was obviously unintentional. 

Why are the authorities looking to punish this woman and make her life bad? If they try her and she is convicted this will follow her the rest of her life... 

assamite316
assamite316

Another black kid being tried as an adult. My surprise = 0

jonesster54
jonesster54

Drop the charges, and let that poor misunderstood girl back into the school, she makes good grades, she's a great student, she has never been in trouble before, or as it seems never has caused any problems for anyone. As this incident. Who called the police anyway if the principle is sticking up for her?

Sherry Robinson

rgeiss
rgeiss

Good grief! When I think of what we used to do as kids, they'd have had to arrest/expell an entire generation! What she did was a bit dangerous, but a reprimand should certainly have sufficed, particularly for an honor student who hadn't been in trouble before.

Futureofourkidsisdim
Futureofourkidsisdim

This is ridiculous. Did none of you do stupid things as kids, setting off fire crackers in inappropriate places, lighting matches, mixing things that shouldn't be, any other stupid childish thing you can think of? Anyone out there ever 'experiment' with an illegal substance to see what t would do to you? I'm pretty sure you are a liar or have selective memory loss if you think you've never done something you weren't supposed to or allowed to do. The fact here is that nothing HAPPENED. Kids in school systems do more terrible things for less punishment than this girl is receiving. Should she be rewarded as an innovative future scientist? No. Should she be punished for disobeying rules? Yes. SHOULD SHE BE EXPELLED AND TURNED INTO A FELON? Really, I have to ask? What on Earth is wrong with you people? If they were as adamant about enforcing their zero tolerance policy about bullying maybe they would get somewhere, but attacking a girl for popping a bottle cap off before school hardly seems worth all the trouble she's in.

tomie1
tomie1

Hopefully the school disciplinary board, teachers and student with parents and guidance counselor can make sure Kiera graduates with her class and can still get to college or, higher education if that is her goal/option which, nonetheless I pray remains open to her irregardless

stjon
stjon

So suspend or expel her for breaking a rule when she performed an unsupervised experiment. Action followed by consequence. But a felony... that's where things are way off into la la land.

beachandwine
beachandwine

I'm sorry, did you miss the part about A student, or that it was an accident. Let me know if I typed too fast for you, I tried to use small words.

camplite
camplite

@celeritas01Kiera, this young lady, has learned her lesson from this incident. The school is correct when they say there are consequences for an action. The only consequence for this unfortunate incident should have been what has been learned from it and what can be taught.

Those teachers and school administrators, whom want to be thought of as intellectual with the cognitive ability to teach, should use this situation as a tool and an example to teach the danger what might happen if a student tries an experiment of something seen on the internet and especially without the guidance of a teacher.

These school administrators, being human, don't want to admit they have over-reacted. The more people react and demand better justice for the child, I am afraid, the stronger those administrators will dig in their heals and refuse to temper their decision with mercy and understanding of how this will affect the whole future of the child.

This is so sad and my heart goes out to Kiera Wilmot and her family.

fparks001
fparks001

@Thomasj52 sorry but this is a young girl, whom is in a science class and did not know what chemicals do what. Most kids in hs do not know that at all and the schools in bartow do not have the educational resources or the higher class teachers to tell them what are bad chemicals to use. Also this class project the teacher should have asked what was she using. Is this something to expell a student that did not know, send her to jail basically destroy any chance of her getting into a good school cause of this. Be realistic dude people make mistakes but it is not that drastic. The Boston Bombing was by choice they knew what they were doing. This girl did not.

sudarsanr36
sudarsanr36

@Thomasj52 experiments are to be tried and yes of course it is worth taking the risk....how can u perform something without making a mistake????

Shawnanagans
Shawnanagans

@assamite316 Really!?! The race card? Get off your soapbox. How about a kid that made a stupid mistake, that just happened to be a felony.

Shawnanagans
Shawnanagans

@jonesster54  So she gets off because she's a good girl, (who said she was poor or misunderstood) and the next time a 'not so good' kid brings a bigger explosive device to school for a 'science experiment' they should let them go too?

Shawnanagans
Shawnanagans

@rgeiss I agree, but unfortunately because of all the school shootings, bringing anything even remotely explosive onto a school campus is illegal. If she would have just set up the experiment with her science teacher so it could be done in a controlled setting, with supervision, she wouldn't be in this mess.

lulurushmore
lulurushmore

@tomie1 She will have absolutely no problem graduating even if she remains expelled. The county has several options for students who are removed from their zone schools including an alternative on-campus school, virtual classes, and other programs. 

Shawnanagans
Shawnanagans

@stjon it's not just a school rule, it's the law now because of all the school shootings. Sad.

lulurushmore
lulurushmore

@stjon Those felony charges may not even stick. That remains to be seen. 

Most idiots on here think she should go without any kind of punishment, or that she should receive a scholarship and special attention for her "creativity". 

lulurushmore
lulurushmore

@beachandwine If you want to get technical...

1) There was never anything mentioned in this article about her being an "A student"; 

2) One cannot combine these ingredients by accident. 

3) You forgot your question mark in the above post. 

scotdance1
scotdance1

Why do you believe she is an "A student"?

lulurushmore
lulurushmore

@fparks001 @Thomasj52 It wasn't a class project. You can find statements in article after article from the principal as well as the BHS science staff stating that this was not related to curriculum at all. 

Shawnanagans
Shawnanagans

@sudarsanr36 being curious is great and so is science, but there is a reason that they have controlled experiments. if she would have gotten permission from her teacher, she wouldn't be in this mess. Chemicals can be extremely dangerous when mixed. What if she mixed bleach and ammonia? She would have killed herself and anyone else around.

joyj078
joyj078

@Shawnanagans @assamite316 Read a book sometime. Maybe look into some history. Another American making statements placed there by media. Free thinking is a good thing. i will say it again. READ A BOOK!

sila11
sila11

@Shawnanagans @assamite316 Should we look at the racial inequality in the justice system?? Black people generally get harsher punishments for the same offences, taking into account prior offending...so it's not playing the race card, it's a comment based on past observations of the realities of inequality within the justice system.

melvinhermille
melvinhermille

@Shawnanagans, you judge each case on its own merits. This one has no merits at all. If the aim of the justice system is to reform offenders, what exactly is the intent of pursuing charges against this young woman? Are they going to try and turn her into an honor student with their strong arm tactics? Oh, that's right! She's already an honor student. This whole thing is based on some jackazz who sees an opportunity to create some suffering and they're going for it with all they've got. 

theroguex
theroguex

@lulurushmore @stjon Think about it: most of the inventors who made the world what it is today technologically would have been PUNISHED and JAILED under your reasoning, and we'd be back in the stone age still.

sieben
sieben

@scotdance1 @lulurushmore - OH LOL.... a student.  A STUDENT.  not that she's an 'A' student just that she's 'a student'!  

a is a particle!  not a description!  >_<

you guys need to be students again!

djroyalflush2008
djroyalflush2008

@lulurushmore @djroyalflush2008 at my sons school no one is allowed on campus before 730 so people are coming into work. I'm sorry I don't believe the principals story. Someone seen the girl doing it and didn't say anything.

lulurushmore
lulurushmore

@theroguex @lulurushmore @stjon There is no connection between inventors and this girl's actions. Plenty of actual researchers will continue to make technological innovations regardless of the enforcement of basic school safety standards. 

Roma4204
Roma4204

@scotdance1 these people aren't even reading the articles correctly so I'm not surprised they're not commenting on them correctly. 

scotdance1
scotdance1

Well, to be fair, beachandwine's post says, "did you miss the part about A student." So the fault is indeed mine for making the assumption the s/he MEANT to type "an A student," because, first, why else would one capitalize the letter "A" in the middle of a sentence, and second, the fact that the girl is "a" student is kind the whole point, isn't it? I foolishly assumed the s/he wouldn't need to point that out...but maybe s/he typed it too fast.

sieben
sieben

@lulurushmore @sieben- my bad - but still it's not a description, like you said.

you didn't reply to the article about it, you replied to beachandwire - who had it correct.

lulurushmore
lulurushmore

@sieben Scotdance1 and I are not the ones who made the mistake about her being an "A" student. It was beachandwine. 

Furthermore, the "a" in "a student" is an ARTICLE--not a particle. You and beachandwine should take some GED classes together!

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