Zero Tolerance Criminalizing Normal Boneheaded Teenage Behavior


P1010492Rarely in this crazy mixed up country of ours do you find an issue that has galvanized the right, left, middle, far left, the warped right, and the libertarians.  Rarely does everyone take the same side of an issue.  When 16 year old Kiera Roslyn Wilmont of Bartow, Florida, was expelled, arrested, and charged as an adult for setting off experiment, on school property, well, everyone is furious.

The police said the child had explosive materials:  An empty plastic water bottle, piece of foil, and some bathroom cleaner.  She was arrested and charged with a felony for making, possessing, or discharging a destructive device with possession or discharging weapons on school grounds.  For this, she will be branded as a felon for the rest of her life.

Not only was she charged as a felon, her photo was released.  Her home address was made public.  She did a a popular boneheaded experiment and is now going to pay for it for the rest of her life.  An honor student, she is now expelled.  She won’t be able to get a scholarship, go into the military, get a student loan, or pass a security clearance for certain jobs.  The record will be sealed when she is 24, which then brands her as a serious terror suspect and violent criminal for the remainder of her life.

She was given less consideration than a student who is a rapist in Ohio.  She was given less consideration than the 5 year old little boy who used his first rifle to kill his 2 year old sister.  His parents aren’t even being charged with child endangerment.  A baby is dead.  Everyone feels sorry for the white family.  A young Black woman in overtly racist Polk County does something on school property that should not even be considered a suspendable offense, and her life is ruined.    The real mistake young Kira Wilmont made was being born Black, in Polk County, Florida.  In Florida, these days, being born Black seems to be a ticket to go directly to jail.

That’s what happened to this young woman.  She was arrested and taken to juvenile lock-up, treated worse than football players in Ohio who rape girls.  They’re the poor victims.  This poor victim of zero tolerance, racism, and pathetically stupid and cowardly school administrators deserves our pity, our help, and someone to take her side.

All she did was try a science experiment they tell you not to do at home, on Mythbusters.  She followed directions and didn’t do it at home.  There was no explosion.  There was no damage.  No one was injured.  Only a 16 year old girl who is going to pay for the cowardly bigotry of Polk County for the rest of her life.

This is from the conservative Daily Caller:

“...The school board did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but released a statement standing by the decision to expel and arrest Wilmot:“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.”But multiple media commentators have expressed the opinion that the school district exercised worse judgment than the student, urging authorities to revisit the matter….”

The liberal Hinterland Gazette:

Hinterland Gazette
Hinterland Gazette
The Ledger
The Ledger

The Ledger
The Ledger

“….So even though Wilmot’s principal acknowledges that the 16-year-old wasn’t trying to hurt anyone and simply made a “bad choice,” the school’s rules said she had to be expelled. Police, meanwhile, have charged her with possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device.

The other most common question about her story is what kind of chemicals she was mixing. Lauderdale says she doesn’t know.

Riptide has requested a police report from the Bartow Police Department to try to find the answer. They’ve promised to send it our way but so far it hasn’t arrived. We’ll update this post when we get our hands on it.

In the meantime, Lauderdale says Wilmot can challenge her expulsion, but says she’s unable to discuss whether or not the teen has done so because of student privacy rights.

The spokeswoman says the school district stands by its rules. “We urge our parents to convey to their kids that there are consequences to their actions,” she says….”

My favorite headline about this story is “When Science is Criminalized, Only Criminals Will Do Science”

In other words, when toilet bowl cleaner is outlawed, only criminals will clean toilets.

It’s great how they are “respecting” the student’s privacy rights by naming her, charging her as an adult, publishing her photo, and her address.  They’re respecting her rights by expelling her, and ruining her life.

And – now you know why The Pink Flamingo has absolutely no respect for educators and administrators.  They’re a bunch of cowardly jerks.

There is something terribly wrong with our society when a promising young woman has her life destroyed, not because of a boneheaded experiment that any normal teen would have tried, (The Pink Flamingo included) but because educators are so lacking in courage and decency that they have turned the least little thing into a criminal offense.  Normal behavior for little boys, which can be remedied by recess, is now turned into a disciplinary problem and the kids are drugged.   The things The Pink Flamingo did as a kid would have landed me in jail, and I was a goodie-two-shoes.  Heaven only knows what would have happened to my father for tipping outhouses (with his girlfriend’s father in one) or letting the air out of all the tires at a PTA meeting.

No wonder kids get in real trouble these days.

For the record:  The Pink Flamingo, in the 8th grade, assembled a volcano out of modeling clay.  It stood nearly a foot high.  I put said volcano on the teacher’s desk.  I filled it with a quart of vinegar and a half box of baking soda.

Yes, I am also a criminal.

I blew up a volcano on the teacher’s desk.  It overflowed.  It went all over everything including his grade book.

FYI – I received an A+ on the experiment.  Then again, I’m white.

I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance.


6 thoughts on “Zero Tolerance Criminalizing Normal Boneheaded Teenage Behavior

  1. One minor nit: is most definitely not a far-left site. “Libertarian-Right” (or far-right, depending on who you ask) is probably a fair categorization.

    But other than that, your post is spot-on. It’s an outrageous situation, and thinking people all across the political spectrum should be outraged.

    Though personally, I’m not convinced of the racism angle. While Polk, FL might be the most racist place on the face of the earth — don’t know, never been there — I’m pretty sure the exact same zero-tolerance horror story would have happened to a white kid as well. There’s certainly no shortage of insane examples of school administrators enacting grotesquely out-of-scale punishments (generally involving the police and criminal charges) for what in the past would have been handled with a simple “don’t do that again” from the principal.

  2. My mother, who is a native Floridian, as am I, asked, when I was telling her about this, what part of Florida. I told her Polk County. Her comment was that the poor child doesn’t stand a chance, they are so racist in that part of the state. Florida is a terribly bigoted state.


  3. This was not an experiment done on a teacher’s desk in a science lab, it was set off on school grounds at 7 AM in the morning. It sounds more like playing around than a science project. No one was hurt but they could have been. She should have been reprimanded, suspended for a couple of days and that should have been the end of it. It is rather ridiculous to bring criminal charges against her. Kids do stuff like this all the time, but we are living in a post 9-ll world now. It’s a good thing she didn’t shake up a bottle of coke on a hot day in New Orleans. She probably would have been charged with making a WMD and sentenced to Gitmo.

  4. The schools can’t handle anything these days without bringing in the police. Back in the old days they would have been more concerned about where she got the bowl cleaner. Did she bring it from home or take it out of the Janitor’s supplies etc? I don’t know how it is in other parts of the country, but down here the police are not the type anyone wants to get mixed up with. I try not to call them unless it is absolutely necessary. I had to call them several years ago for insurance purposes when someone busted one of my windows. I was treated like I was an escaped convict. I learned my lesson.

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