• Petitioned Dr. John A. Stewart, Superindendent

This petition was delivered to:

Polk County School District
Dr. John A. Stewart, Superindendent
Principal, Bartow Senior High
Ronald Pritchard

Polk County School District: Drop charges and re-enroll Kiera Wilmot

    1. Elaine Almquist
    2. Petition by

      Elaine Almquist

      North Andover, MA

A teenage girl was expelled from school and charged as an adult for discharging a weapon in school when a science experiment was conducted incorrectly and harmed nobody. This girl did not use a weapon, and was merely learning about science. She deserves to continue her education in school, and have all charges dropped against her.

Kiera Wilmot, a 16-year old student at Bartow Senior High has good grades and an excellent behavior record. Numerous studies show that there is a serious racial and gender disproportionality in school punishment, and this is a prime example of such. Women make up only 20% of computer science jobs, 23% of graduate students in engineering, and only 25% of the STEM workforce. We are not going to resolve the gender gap in science and math fields by punishing girls for pursuing the fields.

Dr. John A. Stewart, Superindendent, Polk County School District
Ronald Pritchard, Principal, Bartow Senior High
It is a shame that your school and district have decided to punish a good student who is pursuing an education in science. Please drop the charges against Kiera Wilmot and dismiss her suspension, so she can continue her education and her interest in science.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 7,000 signatures
    2. We Contacted the School

      Elaine Almquist
      Petition Organizer

      Yesterday, the list of the first 2,500 petitioners was emailed to the school principal and district superintendent. Kiera Wilmot is now getting national attention from the NAACP, the Huffington Post, Scientific American, Business Insider, and lots of viral shares via Twitter and Facebook. Keep up the good work, friends, and we should hit our 10,000 goal soon!

    3. Reached 5,000 signatures
    4. 2,500 supporters strong

      Elaine Almquist
      Petition Organizer

      In less than 24 hours, more than 2,500 of you have signed on to keep Miss Wilmot in school, and keep her out of court. Today I'll be emailing your names and petitions to her high school principal and district superintendent!

    5. Reached 2,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Melinda D'Atrio LAKELAND, FL
      • 7 months ago

      I am a student and I understand what it is like to be kicked out for an unjust cause.

      • about 1 year ago

      A child should be allowed to explore & experiment. I agree she showed a considerable lack of thought when she explored the act of scientific exploration & childish curiosity in such a public place but I am absolutely certain you have severely overstepped your boundaries by charging this poor young child with a felony & expelling her from school. Actions that will alter the course of this bright well behaved young scholars life. I personally believe the maximum she should have received is a stern talking to about safety and a lesson in scientific method & safety for herself & those around her and if you really want to make a deep impression a days in school suspension & a written report on safety within scientific experimentation by her return.

      I find the actions of this school board absolutely deplorable.

      By signing this petition I ask you to repeal your decision to move forward with harming this poor girl in a way that she may never recover for the very simple reality of curiosity that comes with youth. A curiosity that without which you would not even have the light bulb let alone the ability to read this electronically sent document.

      Open your minds & hearts, she is not a criminal, she is a child and a scientist of the future.

      She may even invent something that would save your lives one day, or the lives of millions.

    • angela proctor EK GROVE, CA
      • about 1 year ago

      This is ridiculous. This school should be ashamed of themselves. This girl obviously wants to learn, TEACH HER!!!! Teach her the difference between right and wrong. Do not crush her with your rules etched in stone. The world is not black and white, and neither is this case.

    • Kerry Anderson SARASOTA, FL
      • about 1 year ago

      I will sign but huge mistake in trying to go viral with this. First, making an explosion with a foil and cleaner and getting arrested happens to tons of kids, white ones by the score. Don't ask me how I know. The fact is, charges would probably be dropped anyway and she would have gone to a diversion program. Don't ask me how I know. Because she was a juvenile, news outlets could not have published her name. If her parents are smart, they can get even th record of the arrest expunged, and the only people who could ever find out this happened are the military. Police and the lawyers Bar. Now thanks to this petition, she is screwed, her name and arrest data are all over th Internet. Don't ask me how I know

    • thomas dobbins MEMPHIS, TN
      • over 1 year ago

      The child is innocent! It was a project that backfired, She had no intentions of causing such a threat. You got Trayvon Martin's KILLER about to walk free, and here you have a girl doing what she loves get stripped of her innocence from trying to make something positive out of her life. Go Figure. I hope her and her parents sue the the florida school system and the entire state of Florida for unfair and racial treatment!


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