Pretty rare that I have trouble writing something because it makes me see red. I normally pride myself on my lack of emotion. But this time, I'm glad I'm mad.
This is ridiculous that this is happening to Kiera Wilmot:
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.So basically, she did a science experiment. She was curious. That curiosity got her expelled and now? Charged as an adult.
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."
After the explosion Wilmot was taken into custody by a school resources officer and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device. She will be tried as an adult.
She was then taken to a juvenile assessment center. She was also expelled from school and will be forced to complete her diploma through an expulsion program.
So goddamn fucking ridiculous.
Now, Polk County claims they’d expel anyone who violates their zero tolerance code of conduct. I personally have my doubts.
The answer: The letter of the law demanded it and school administrators believe kids should learn that "there are consequences to their actions."“There have to be consequences for our actions.” Hey, I agree! Making silly bottle bombs isn’t always safe. There should indeed be a consequence for that. I can think of one that’s perfect: a detention where the student researches a research paper, describing the reaction that occurred, and why it occurred, and perhaps a controlled demonstration from the science teacher (involving Ms. Wilmot, of course.) But this is America, where we’re number #1 (and #17 in science! Yay! Go us!) so we really can’t have that. Nope. Zero tolerance. Expel. Then send to the court system to be tried as an adult. Especially when black.
We've also obtained a police report that indicates Wilmot mixed toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil -- a combination that has inspired hundreds of YouTube videos and generally produces a fairly unimpressive explosion.
"Unfortunately, what she did falls into our code of conduct," Leah Lauderdale, a spokeswoman for the department, tells Riptide. "It's grounds for immediate expulsion."
More specifically, Wilmot's mini-explosion -- which came after she mixed "common household chemicals" in a plastic bottle -- violates section 5.5 of the school's conduct code, Lauderdale says, which mandates expulsion for any "student in possession of a bomb or explosive device ... while at a school, a school activity or a school bus ... unless it's used as part of a school-related activity sanctioned by and conducted by a teacher."
Why am I singling out her ethnicity? Because by and large, nationwide, black students are singled out for punishment, and harsh punishment at that, by “zero tolerance” policies. This of course, was something we warned y’all all about in the 90s when “zero tolerance” policies began to congeal up out of the ether of bad ideas, but no one listened. And I bet if Kiera Wilmot were white (and if she were a he, and was the star quarterback), that research paper plus detention would have been the punishment and the county DA would not be involved and the student’s life would not be potentially ruined. You're goddamn right I'm calling racism.
Ain’t that America. Ain’t that some fuckin’ bullshit.
(this is why we will NEVER go back to Low Earth Orbit even).
Here's how you can help Ms. Wilmot
and more here
some people really seem to have an issue with my title. Here's the deal. The number of fucks I give about you being all up in your feelings is absolutely fucking zero.
My daddy (Yes, I call my father my daddy) was raised in Florida. Growing up south of Miami, a city that was segregated-but-integrated back then, he always wanted to visit the Cape. See, he was a kid in the 50s and '60s. He wanted to intern at Cape Canaveral. He wanted to be part of the space program--and he had (and still has) the aptitude to do so.
Didn't happen. Wasn't going to happen. Way too racist. The INTEGRATED schools didn't even sponsor field trips there.
So this shit offends me, especially when it's a curious black student in Florida. On many PERSONAL levels.
Now, my dad managed to get out of Florida, attend an Ivy League university, and do exceptionally well for himself. But he never got to work in the space program.
I am absolutely taking this personal. I really don't care if you law-and-order- ZOMG SHE BUILT A BOMB types are upset.