Education Law

Teen won't be criminally charged over exploding water bottle she called a science project fail

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All criminal charges have been dropped against a Florida teen who initially faced an adult felony case after she mixed household chemicals in a water bottle and it exploded on school grounds.

Kiera Wilmot, 16, has said the incident was a failed effort to develop possible science project. But even though she hadn’t been in trouble before, she was arrested on school grounds and sent to an alternative school. Her mother calls the April 22 incident a nightmare and, although she is relieved her daughter will no longer face a criminal case, she is worried it will put a shadow on the girl’s hitherto unblemished record, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

School officials could still impose administrative sanctions, but have said they will take the dropped criminal case into account as a positive factor for the 11th grader when they determine what, if any, further discipline should ensue.

Marie Wilmot tells the newspaper her daughter made a mistake and deserved a reasonable punishment, such as a few days’ suspension. But she wants the teen back at Bartow High School, and calls the “zero tolerance” approach that forced her to hire a lawyer to defend a criminal case an overreaction.

“The whole process was very traumatic,” Wilmot said. “It look an emotional toll.”

See also “Teen faces felony charges in exploding water bottle incident; was it a science project gone bad?”

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