Let Student Arrested for Science Experiment Go Back To School

Target: Dr. John A. Stewart, School Superintendent for Polk County, Florida

Goal: Allow 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot to return to high school following her arrest and expulsion for a failed science experiment

Nobody would say that schools should be less careful these days, given serious crimes such as rapes and shootings. But there are times when caution verges on paranoia, and even infringes upon the rights of students. A 16-year-old girl was expelled and is facing felony charges for a science experiment that misfired.

Kiera Wilmot, a student at Bartow High School in Polk County, Florida, filled a water bottle with common household chemicals. The experiment produced a small explosion that caused the bottle top to pop off and created a bit of smoke. Nobody was injured and no property was damaged. A police report stated that the experiment has been featured on YouTube hundreds of times, and does not produce a large or very damaging explosion.

The school principal defended Kiera. He said that she did the experiment in front of school officials, knowing that they were watching her. She did not leave after the explosion. He said that Kiera is a god student and has not had disciplinary problems before.

Kiera will have to finish school in an expulsion program. She was taken into custody by school security and charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds. She will be taken to court and tried as an adult.

It’s difficult to take a stance on this situation right now, but if Kiera is found to be innocent, as seems likely, then Polk County Schools should let her back into Bartow High School. Urge Polk County School Superintendent, Dr. John A. Stewart, to let Kiera back into high school.


Dear Dr. Stewart,

Recently a student named Kiera Wilmot was expelled from Bartow High School for mixing chemicals in a bottle and causing a small explosion. Not only that, she is also facing felony charges and will be tried as an adult for possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Bartow’s school principal believes that she meant no harm, as she continued to mix the chemicals even though she knew school officials were watching her. And it didn’t cause any harm: the cap popped off the bottle and caused a small explosion. Wilmot did not run away after the explosion. By all accounts she is well-behaved and a good student.

We don’t have a stance on this case right now, but if Bartow is declared innocent, we ask Polk County Schools to readmit her to Wilmot High School to finish her education.


[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. J Davidson says:

    Totally absurd, as this science demonstration has been done or seen by most elementary school students.

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