Earlier this month I wrote a letter to a high school in Florida where a young student (who had a good academic record and sterling behavioral record) attempted a science experiment on her own, had it go wrong, and was expelled and criminally charged for it. Those charges have now been dropped.
The Florida teenager who was arrested two weeks ago for causing a small explosion on the campus of her high school will not be charged with a crime. Kiera Wilmot, 16, was arrested by police in Bartow, Florida, after conducting an unauthorized science experiment which lightly damaged an eight ounce plastic water bottle.
At the time, Wilmot faced possible charges for “possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school sponsored event or on school property.” If she had been convicted, she could have faced up to five years in prison.
Wilmot’s arrest became a national story, as members of the press and the scientific community insisted that Wilmot was the victim of a massive overreaction from law enforcement. A crowdfunded legal defense fund netted over $8,000 to cover Wilmot’s potential legal fees, and a Change.org petition to get the charges dropped received nearly 200,000 signatures.
Kiera is back, but attending another school. I’m just glad she didn’t have her future ruined over poor judgment when indulging her curiosity. Kids make mistakes. But Keria’s was academic, not malicious. You’d think we’d reward something like that, but I guess we’ll settle for her still having a bright future.
Thanks to everybody who wrote in!