Science project gone bad? Online petitions rally around teen - FOX 35 News Orlando

Science project gone bad? Online petitions rally around teen

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BARTOW (FOX 13) -

Kiera Wilmont was arrested and apparently kicked out of Bartow High School because in late April investigators say she constructed what is commonly called an "acid bomb" on school grounds.

According to Bartow Police, the 16-year-old brought toilet cleaner, aluminum foil and a plastic water bottle to school.

She combined the cleaner and foil inside the bottle and placed the lid on top, causing an explosion.

She said she was considering it for a science fair project, but she was arrested and is now facing two felony weapons charges as a result.

Her arrest and apparent explosion from school has become big news around the country.

A woman in Massachusetts saw what happened and started a petition on Change.org trying to get her re-instated to school.

"It was horrible what happened to her," said Jakeem Johnson.

Johnson of Plant City took that a step further and created a Facebook page trying to get people to sign that petition.

"When I saw it I was like I got do something about this on my part," said Johnson.

Wilmot's story has resonated because many say so few women take an interest in science.

"I just thought it was completely absurd.  If it was a malicious act, then it was just stupid.  But if it was a mistake, then it was a mistake," said "science evangelist" Dr. Ainissa Ramirez. "But mistakes like having explosions in science laboratories happen all the time."

And while this story seems to be making headlines across the country, it's not making much news at Bartow High.

"Since I guess no one got injured or anything it's a thing of the past," said Bartow High School junior Dorian Lorente.

And contrary to what many around the country are saying, students we talked to say the punishment fit the crime, science project or not.

"I think it's crazy because I could have walking right beside her," said Bartow High School freshman Daniel Camacho.

"If you're going to do something like that, honestly she should have got in trouble," said Lorente.

See the Change.Org page here:

https://www.change.org/petitions/polk-county-school-district-drop-charges-and-re-enroll-kiera-wilmot?utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

There's also a Facebook page setup: https://www.facebook.com/events/567771826589541/

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