An excerpt from the Miami New Times reads:
"Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school, but that's exactly what happened after an attempt at a science project went horribly wrong."
Kiera Wilmot is another example of the Zero Tolerance statute gone wrong. It is being used to claim denial plausibiltiy on the part of Bartow High School, and has escalated into a true miscarriage of justice. She took it upon herself to conduct an experiment of sorts. She was surprised by the outcome. No parties, including Miss Wilmot, were injured in the accident. What is also of interest is that the same state prosecutor, Tammy Glotfelty, who pushed that charges be brought against Kiera, dropped charges in the March 13,2013 shooting of a child by his older brother. The reasoning? She said that she believed it was "an accident". The report and police report can be found here: http://www.theledger.com/article/20130425/NEWS/304255020
The treatment of Kiera Wilmot is a gross miscarriage of justice and something has to be done about it.
Principal John Pritchard was documented on camera stating that Miss Wilmot was " a good student" and that he "didn't think she intended to hurt anyone". He also stated that she was, "surprised by the outcome". If Kiera Wilmot had malicious intent, she would not have stayed in the close vicinity of the experiment; she would have not been forthcoming and completely honest when questioned. Yet, SHE DID BOTH OF THESE THINGS. If she were guilty of attempting to cause harm, she would have tried her best to hide the bottle in question or would have even conducted her experiment in the presence of others so as to have a harmful effect. SHE DID NEITHER OF THESE THINGS.
None of her behaviors or demeanor is consistent with the charges brought against her .This young girl - a bright, well behaved, model student - may have demonstrated a lack in judgement but certainly not one punishable to the extent of what she is being forced to face! She is being railroaded. Bullied, even.....
This was a product of a young person's natural curiosity - the same curiosity and eagerness to learn that no doubt made her an excellent student. It is of vital importance that another of our young citizens is not thrown into a penal system that mars the life of young people who make innocent mistakes. This system, more often than not, leaves our young children (she is certainly NOT AN ADULT) broken and dejected. It is oppressive, stifling, and heartbreaking for someone to be punished with such severity for such a small indiscretion. Why not use this as a learning opportunity for Kiera? She could do community service, extracurricular lab work, a several-month long assignment or project that correlates with her actions. Where is your imagination? Your compassion? Your sense of duty in SERVING and PROTECTING the community!!??
What cannot be denied is that, if these charges are upheld and Kiera Wilmot is prosecuted, the lasting affects and stigma of being labeled a criminal will follow her for the rest of her life. She will have difficulty gaining admission to the college or university of her choice, obtaining a job that leads to a pursue a fruitful career, and will surely block other opportunities for her. It is quite possible that we have, in young Miss Wilmot, a future research scientist, author, physician, even a law practitioner! But her potential will not be fully realized if she is condemned to carry the burden of these HEINOUS charges. It is my stance that KIERA WILMOT IS NOT TO BE TRIED AS AN ADULT, criminal charges against her be dropped, and that she be released from custody at once.