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View Diary: Update on Florida teen arrested for doing science while Black (268 comments)

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  •  I don't believe those are the same sorts of (4+ / 0-)

    circumstances.

    Pipe Bombs and M-80s are something you hide from other people, before they were tossed across crowded school playgrounds or stuffed in toilets.

    These are not acts of kids who are studying chemistry, so much as causing wanton destruction and mayhem for a laugh.

    It was still very common when I was in school, for boys to throw M-80s into crowded areas, and watch students scatter, sometimes catching some kids unawares with the small explosions.

    It was also not uncommon to have cherry bombs shoved into toilets and blown up, damaging the plumbing and making an awful mess.

    The girl in question was in a Lab. She was in school, and she accidentally caused an explosive chemical reaction.

    That is quite a departure from the first scenarios. She shouldn't be punished like this. She might need closer adult supervision when in the lab, but there is no need to ruin her life over this. There was no malice intended, no mischief intended--so why treat her like a criminal?

    Our adolescent security state has really infected this culture with it's paranoia.

    We need more girls in STEM fields, not less. We need more racial diversity in these areas too. It would be a shame to discourage her and stigmatize her in a way that could ruin her chances of getting into the hard sciences and being one more agent of positive change.

    •  A couple of fact corrections (3+ / 0-)
      The girl in question was in a Lab. She was in school, and she accidentally caused an explosive chemical reaction.
      She was on school property, but not in a lab.  The explosion was not an accident.  It was her intention.  Google "toilet bowl cleaner bomb" for a few thousand examples.  

      It's not about "more adult supervision".  She did this with no adults present.  It was not part of any class or project.  

      I will restate that I think her penalties are insane.  A few days suspension would have been more appropriate.   Unfortunately, the facts in this case have not been well presented by the diarist and there are quite a few misconceptions as a consequence.

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