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No Charges for Honor Student Who Caused Small Explosion at School

May 16th, 2013 | WMFE - Authorities have dropped criminal charges against the 16-year-old Polk County honor student who caused a small explosion on school grounds. Kiera Wilmot was arrested on two felony counts for what the State Attorney's Office originally called a destructive device, and what Kiera and her thousands of online supporters said was a science experiment gone wrong.

[Image: Kiera Wilmot]

The Polk County State Attorney's Office released a statement Wednesday saying it was dismissing all charges against Kiera after considering "the facts and circumstances of the case and her lack of criminal history."

On April 22nd before the morning bell at Bartow High, Keira mixed toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in an 8-ounce water bottle in a remote corner of the campus. The concoction blew the cap off the bottle and sounded like a firecracker. She said a friend had told her about the experiment and she was considering it for a science fair project, but she only expected smoke, according to a police report. 

No one was injured and there was no damage, but Kiera was arrested for possessing a weapon on campus and discharging a destructive device, both felonies. She was suspended, then expelled under the school district’s zero-tolerance policy for weapons. She’s currently attending an alternative high school. 

While the State Attorney’s Office considered whether to pursue formal charges in the case, her story spread across social media, with thousands of supporters signing a petition urging leniency for the honor student with no history of disciplinary problems. 

Now that the charges have been dropped, Kiera hopes to be re-instated as a student at Bartow High. She says she wants to go to college and major in robotics.


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