Student Given a Felony for Science Experiment, But White Kid Gets Off for Homicide

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Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty out of Florida is under a great deal of scrutiny this week after allegations that she treats students differently because of race.   There are reports that after the attorney recommended filing charges against a black female honor student for an exploding science experiment, people found out that she’d recommended no charges be filed against a white kid who shot and killed his older brother with a BB gun.

On Monday, April 23, Glotfelty told the Barlow Police Department to charge Kiera with two felonies for her science fair experiment. The girl mixed toilet cleaner with aluminum in a small bottle, which led to the top popping off.  Afterward, there was a great deal of smoke, but no one was hurt.  For some reason, Glotfelty felt that this called for felony charges to be filed against the good-natured student.  The arresting officer made this comment on a police report:


Just a few days later, the prosecutor announced that 13-year-old Taylor Richardson would not face charges after he shot and killed his brother Skyler with a BB gun.

Glotfelty wrote this in a letter to the sheriff’s office: ”Our office has considered this case, keeping in mind that (Taylor) is 13 years of age and is a student at Roosevelt Academy.”

“After a thorough review of the facts, available to our office at this time, it is our opinion that this case can only be seen as a tragic accident,” he said.

Citizens are outraged over the disparate treatment of the two cases, one of which is clearly more severe than the other.   Florida’s justice system is known for being unfair to African Americans, and these cases seem to highlight the disparity.

According to the Center for American Progress explains, black students are regularly suspended and expelled at rates that are far greater than white students:

According to the latest data, which was collected from schools nationwide during the 2009-2010 academic year, black students were three and a half times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white classmates. What’s more, African Americans made up 46 percentof those students who were suspended more than once. During the 2009-2010 school year, 39 percent of all expulsions were of black students even though they represented only 18 percent of enrolled students at sampled schools. These racial disparities in suspension and expulsion rates cannot be explained, as some contend, by socioeconomic status or by higher rates of misbehavior among students of color. Multiple studies confirm that students of color receive harsher consequences than their white peers for committing the same offenses.

If you’d like to express your concerns with the Florida State Attorney’s office, you can reach them at the address below:

Adress: 255 N Broadway Ave Bartow, FL 33830

Phone: (863) 534-4800




  1. CP Artist

    May 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    As a 58 year old mother, white woman and part time resident of FL, I have to say this is disgusting! Since when is a science demonstration less serious than killing another human? The only way we will change our country is to do it one town at a time.

    • CP Artist

      May 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      I meant to say when is a science demonstration MORE serious than killing another human?

    • Elizabeth

      May 9, 2013 at 9:41 am


  2. crazycurls

    May 9, 2013 at 12:24 am

    It’s time for African Americans to take to the street in protest again.

    • J. D. Hill

      May 9, 2013 at 1:45 am

      No! That’s what racists expect us to do: take to the streets! What we need to do is to have an emergency voter registration campaign and register every Black adult in the state of Florida. At the same time, we need to amass a defense fund of no less than $300,000 to hire two of the best criminal defense lawyers in Florida for our child.

      We have taken to the streets and the same kinds of things continue to happen to Black Americans. We need a strategy that can get things done. Strong Black voices at the ballot box have always worked!

      • david anderson

        May 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        voting is the solution says me… a white retired cop. you have many whites that see the injustice here.

      • Stephanie M Nation

        May 10, 2013 at 11:16 pm

        No cause she’s. Not a criminal you have to march you have to bring it to light thats the only way

  3. Akbar

    May 9, 2013 at 12:26 am

    One thing about writing on here is people can hide behind their computers and say what “we” need to do. Exactly what do they mean by we? It means say we then go to bed. It feels good to say it because in reality the Civil rights movement left us with more questions than answers and we consider that our watershed moment, then basically this society and this world is not going to be dictated by the people that we think or a people at all. Solving things is overrated and probably not necessary to have a fulfilling life. I like the Bible, not for religious reasons or for making people feel guilty, but in it I find confounding stories that do not fit the norm of human thought, but the results are always favorable. This coming from a non religious person. On the surface they seem like contradictions but when you meditate on it or have a learned person break it down into its deeper spiritual meaning its like Wow!

  4. Marcus J Truesdale

    May 9, 2013 at 12:26 am

    explosion’s in science class, well DAMMIT, NO-ONE BACK IN THE DAY was ever arrested the TEACHERS back then were innterested,,,HUH.period .com

  5. Matt

    May 9, 2013 at 2:34 am

    J D Hill, I agree with the 300 thousand dollar defense fund. I would be happy to donate.

  6. Gail

    May 9, 2013 at 7:08 am

    This prosecutor should be held accountable and brougt up on charges! Absolute blatant racism.

  7. Ty

    May 9, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Florida Florida Florida, when are you going to stop this? Never? This student’s brain was not thinking of harming anyone. She was so excited by the experiment to show the result of this demonstration. This is how scientists are. They are solely about the actual experiment. This ADA does not have that part of her brain working so she has no appreciation of science and neither does she has any passion for the progression of young Black children. The FBI really need to take a look into any patterns like this from that office and take action if they find something.

  8. Karen

    May 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Don’t they realize science experiments with chemicals can end up with a surprise ending? And, where was the teacher?

  9. kdmorris

    May 9, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Someone, on another social media site, suggested that we “boycott Florida (attack their pockets)”
    This was my reply:
    • What we have to over come is our inherent need to assimilate and fit in – or be accepted by those who don’t have our best interest at heart.
    • Diversity and unity is not the same as desegregation and quotas (affirmative action). I am not going to blame one race or culture for the success or failures of another, when individual choices are a major factor in utilizing information and options either made available to us or sought for ourselves.
    • We know that racism is systematic and ignorance is a learned behavior. Yes, learned. Watch as children play in a park of many cultures and 10 years later, they view the same child as “the enemy” because “someone else said that they are.”
    • Is education the answer? not in the institutional sense of the word. Home and community development are the key elements in societies realm of knowledge. Then again, a parent can only teach a child what they know, therefore, the village must step up to the plate.
    • Boycotting doesn’t change anything without a voice. We have to establish a voice – one voice for the same purpose – seeking the same results.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    • Stephanie M Nation

      May 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm


  10. TAS

    May 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Without trying to make any definitive comment on other black / white issues, think this issue may fall into the category of Politically Correct Hysteria over violence in school, resulting in young kids being suspended / expelled over incidents like pointing a pencil at another child & making a gun noise or making a play gun out of a bakery snack… The experiment was a youthful mistake which could have had tragic circumstances & deserves to be identified as such…But making this into a criminal issue is “Zero Tolerance Policy” run amok…And shopping around for other cases to compare it to in order to make it a racial grievance is likewise “race” run amok…

    • kd

      May 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Agreed. You made some good points.

    • Stephanie M Nation

      May 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      Its wrong and if we don’t compare we don’t. Get justice she should be fired

  11. Dee

    May 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I would donate to a fund. If we can raise our voices and get a reality show off the air or get Mountain Dew to drop a rap artist surely we can raise our voices and purses to save a young child’s life.

  12. Haile

    May 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Don’t forget that Florida was one of the eleven states that broke away from the American Union of states to form the slave supporting southern confederacy.This is the time for African people to come together and do something about this European racism and donot stop until some justice is done.I have coppied down the complete information to contact the states attorney’s office. I think that every person who comes in contact with this information should write not call the states attorney’s office.Don’t forget that in Mulberry, Florida near Bartow, Florida, they had the Mulberry tree where they used to hang and lynch Enslaved Africans for nothing.I went to science clas also and I did some blowing up without any intent of course. If I were prosecuted it would have ruined my whole like.

  13. Haile

    May 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I will not just run my mouth I will be writing to the States Attorney’s office and be counted.Lets flood the place with letters to start plus calls and emails.

  14. kookie

    May 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    This is a sad case of racism. This can be a wake up call for all Black people who think racism against Blacks has died. Racism has risen to its highest it is not because of who is president it simply because klans men are in all walks of life. They are in our classrooms, boardrooms, churches, congress and everywhere else. They no longer hide behind sheets, instead; they hide behind titles in upper society. It’s a shameful sin that someone could kill another and its justified, whereas; someone makes a honest mistake where no one is hurt and get penalized. WOW!

  15. Sassy

    August 5, 2013 at 5:24 am

    This is a cry for some real government to get involved.
    Florida laws are sickening!!

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