Tomorrow's Promise is being threatened:
16-year-old Kiera Wilmot now has an arrest photo and a felony charge. The teenager is known among the staff at Bartow High School for her exemplary record and her status as a good student. According to principal Ron Pritchard "She is a good kid and has never been in trouble before. Ever."
Monday morning all of that changed.
Around 7 a.m. Monday morning there was an explosion on school property. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Staff, along with the school resource officer, acted quickly. Kiera Wilmot was expelled, arrested and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device. She will now have to complete her education in an expulsion program.
Polk County Schools released this statement:
"Anytime a student makes a bad choice it is disappointing to us. Unfortunately, the incident that occurred at Bartow High School yesterday 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. We urge our parents to join us in conveying the message that there are consequences to actions. We will not compromise the safety and security of our students and staff."
How can this be considered appropriate disciplinary action on behalf of the Polk County School Board? Are we excessively punishing this former role model student? If the school has guidelines in place to address issues such as this, why were the police involved? How was the determination made that Kiera's actions were with malicious intent? Where was the Science teacher and what role SHOULD they have played in the conducting of Kiera's experiment?
The members of Tomorrow's Promise are asking that you join us in signing this petition and sending the clear message to the PCSB, the principal of Bartow High School and the residents and citizens of Polk County that we will NOT stand by idly and watch our children made examples of, watch our children intentionally marginalized and overtly branded.
Join us in being the voice that watches over the next generation of leaders, doctors, scientists...our children...our tomorrow! Sign now.