Kiera Wilmot, a 16-year old Black teenager from Florida has been arrested after her chemical experiment turned sour. Wilmot wanted to discover the impact that would result from mixing toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil for a school chemistry experiment. Perhaps she was trying to demonstrate her intellectual curiosity for her classmates by mixing the chemicals together, nevertheless instead of receiving approval or praise for her intellectual curiosity, she was arrested.
When the concoction produced a slight, minute, explosion, which injured no one, she was taken into police custody. Literally all that resulted from the “explosion,” was the top popping off of the container and a little smoke. No property was damaged, no one was injured. However, the police didn’t see the experiment as so harmless and instead they charged her with discharging a destructive device and possession of a weapon on school property. These are both felony charges and the exemplary and intellectually curious student could be facing some serious prison time, if convicted.
As a result, the school has been forced to expel Miss Wilmot. The school principal has stated that Miss Wilmot was a good student and she did not run or leave the premises after the “explosive experiment.”
Here are my thoughts. So, are we now so paranoid (and perhaps racist) that any innocent science project that produces a slight reaction is a felony? So now when kids do the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment with the clay volcano…are they gonna be arrested because that experiment produces an “explosion,” as well?? I mean if you want to call some foamy stuff running down the side of a clay volcano an explosion… I think this is just absurd, why is it that the real criminals in the world, the ones who send drones to kill innocent people or the ones who go into neighborhoods at night and shoot up innocent children who buy skittles get a pass for their crimes, but a little 16-year-old who conducts an innocent, harmless experiment gets arrested on the spot?
I don’t understand, it took MASSIVE protest and extensive media coverage and collective arm-twisting to even get George Zimmeran even arrested for KILLING someone. Had the social media not put that story out there, it is VERY LIKELY that Zimmeran would have been able to go free.
But, a teenage Black girl is arrested almost immediately for an innocent, science project that harms neither person nor property? Huh…do we have our heads on backwards as a society here?
People need to learn to use common sense. There is a BIG difference between a little, innocuous science experiment that does no harm to anyone and creating a bomb to intentionally wound or kill others. They are not EVEN in the same category.
This is the same state that was GOING to let Zimmeran walk free on the stand your ground law. Same state that is now arresting someone for a science experiment. I mean I guess it’s okay to shoot someone for buying skittles, but a science project that harms no one…UH UH!!! Are people totally lacking common sense today or what???
Come on now…
Here are my questions:
1. Do you think the Boston Bombing had an impact on the way we view science projects that involve explosives? Meaning, has the fact that the Boston Bombers used home-made bombs that they learned about on the internet to harm hundreds put a sense of fear into society, so that now even innocent, science projects are cause for national concern?
2. If the student had been white, do you think that she would have been arrested?