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Teen girl arrested and expelled after science project explodes in school

By Mason White 11:09 AM May 2, 2013
Kiera Wilmot 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
(Scroll down for video) A teen girl was arrested and charged with weapons related charges after her science project went rogue and exploded inside her classroom, according to a statement released by Florida police.

The 16-year-old was arrested and expelled from her high school after her science project failed, which resulted in a small explosion.

Kiera Wilmot of Bartow, Florida is accused of mixing household chemicals in a small bottle of water which then exploded in her high school. No one was injured.

Principal Ron Pritchard said that Wilmot is “a good girl and never has been in trouble before.” He added:
“She made a bad choice. I honestly do not think she ever wanted to hurt anyone. She just wanted to see what happens when chemicals are mixed and was surprised by what she did. Her mother was surprised, too.”

Wilmot approached the school authorities after the explosion. Pritchard also said that Wilmot told him everything and was very honest. She did not run or try to hide the truth. I had a long talk with her.

The police report explains that Wilmot told her assistant principal, Dan Durham, that the explosion was part of a scientific experiment. However, her science teacher said the explosion was not associated with any school project, and he called police. Wilmot was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon and discharging a weapon in school, and discharging a destructive device.

The School District of Polk County released a statement:
“Each time a student makes a poor choice it is disappointing for us. Unfortunately, the incident that occurred at Bartow High School yesterday was a serious violation of conduct. In order to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment we simply must keep to our code of conduct rules. We encourage parents to join us in the transmission of the message that there are consequences to actions. We will not compromise the safety of our students and staff.”

“I think the school and the police are stepping way over the line with filing the charges. She is clearly a good girl and she doesn’t deserve to be labeled a criminal just because her science project failed,” Dorothy Gonzalez, 22, of Orlando, Florida told after learning about Wilmot.

Wilmot has many supporters, however. A petition argues that Wilmot’s life should not be reversed, and her future should not be crushed, because the school wants to make a statement. The signatories call on the authorities to drop the charges. So far, the petition has over 1,500 signatures.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view