Charges dropped against teen in science experiment 'bomb'

Kiera Wilmot, the 16-year-old who put toilet cleaner and aluminum foil together at school and it went bang will not be charged with a felony.

Kiera Wilmot. Not a felon. WTSP-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's more enjoyable when sense doesn't prevail.

It allows for so much more humor and head-shaking.

However, Kiera Wilmot has probably shaken her head enough lately and will now be grateful for a little stillness.

Should you have been unaccountably arrested for expectorating in your high school cafeteria recently, you might not have heard about Wilmot.

One morning at Bartow High School in Florida, she put toilet cleaner and aluminum foil in a water bottle to see what might happen. It was just, she said, an experiment.

Even her school principal admitted that it merely sounded like a firecracker.

However, she found herself expelled from school and arrested for felonious possession/discharge of a dangerous weapon.

It emerged that the same D.A who charged her had, two days previously, decided not to charge a 13-year-old who shot dead his 10-year-old brother.

However, now there is some good news. Or, at least, sane news. The criminal charges have been dropped. She will not have to live her life as a felon.

As the Orlando Sentinel reports, the office of the state attorney (what? not the governor?), Jerry Hill, declared that it had made "an offer of diversion of prosecution to the child."

Generosity in Florida doesn't merely exist in Carl Hiassen novels.

In essence, Wilmot will be asked to perform some sort of community service.

You might imagine that the school district, given how Neanderthal it has appeared over the case, might welcome Wilmot back with arms akimbo and brains re-engaged. But, no.

A school district spokeswoman offered these words of comfort: "The Polk County School District will take the state attorney's decision into consideration in determining what, if any, further disciplinary action is appropriate."

Some might suggest that the disciplinary action should be leveled at members of the school district, rather than at Wilmot.

Perhaps her community service could consist of her teaching them the meaning of "over-reaction" and, perhaps, "education."

 

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