Student charged with 2 felonies over 'science project'
By Kimberly Wiggins, Reporter -
BARTOW, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
A science experiment landed a Bartow teenager in juvenile detention, with two felonies. The lawyer for the 16-year-old girl said she didn't mean hurt anyone.
FOX 35 is not releasing the name of the teenager because she is a juvenile.
The teen and her mother declined to comment on camera. FOX 35 spoke with her lawyer, Larry Hardaway, on Thursday evening. Hardaway said the girl is a bright student who has never gotten into trouble, and was working on a science experiment.
The teenager is charged with possessing a weapon on school property and making a destructive device.
According to the police report, the girl brought a plastic water bottle and household chemicals to school the morning of April 22. She went to a field behind Bartow High School, combined the ingredients, and the bottle exploded. No one was hurt, and school facilities weren't damaged.
A school resource officer responded, and the student was taken into custody. The 16 year old was arrested, and then expelled. The junior will finish the school year at an alternative school. School officials told FOX 35 that the experiment was not for a school project, and the teenager did not have permission to conduct the experiment on school grounds.
Polk County Public Schools released a statement on Thursday, saying in part, "Student discipline is handled in accordance with the school District's Code of Student Conduct. All students facing disciplinary actions have a right to due process under Florida Law and the Code."