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Science Project Lands Star Student in Jail

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A Florida teenager with an “exemplary record” was arrested and expelled from school for what school officials say was a science experiment gone wrong.

Kiera Wilmot, a student at Bartow High School, is facing two felony charges including making or attempting to make a destructive device after she mixed toilet bowl cleaner and pieces of aluminum foil in a tiny water bottle.


A spokesperson for the Florida State Attorney’s office told Fox News that the case is under investigation and would not be offering further comment.

The 16-year-old was in a yard outside the school working on the experiment for an upcoming science project, according to the Bartow Police Dept.

Wilmot told police she thought the concoction would result in a little smoke. Instead, according to the police report, the tiny bottle exploded.

Bartow High School Principal Ron Pritchard told television WTSP that Wilmot had an exemplary record and she is known around campus as a good student.

“She’s is a good kid,” the principal said. “She has never been in trouble before--ever.”

The principal said she simply made a bad decision.

“Honestly, I don’t think she meant to ever hurt anyone,” he told the television station. “She wanted to see what would happen when the chemicals mixed and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked, too.”

The principal said the young lady was completely up front and honest about what happened.

“She didn’t run or try to hide the truth,” he said.

So to reward her honesty, the school district called the police, had her arrested and expelled her from school.


“There are consequences to actions,” read a statement from Polk County Schools. “Anytime a student makes a bad choice it is disappointing to us.”

The district told the television station that the incident “was a serious breach of conduct.”

“In order to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment, we simply must uphold our code of conduct rules,” the statement read. “We will not compromise the safety and security of our students and staff.”

The experiment was conducted in a school yard away from the building and away from students. No one was injured in the incident.

The Wilmot family declined to comment. The district said she will complete her education at an alternative school.

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