Teen Arrested For Science Project Called a Terrorist, GPA Plummets

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Kiera Wilmot

Reported by Krystle Crossman

Kiera Wilmot is a bright teenager with a big future who aspires to be an engineer. She graduated from Bartow High School in Florida this month but almost had a very large setback that almost cost her graduation.

In April of 2013, Wilmot conducted an experiment because she was curious about what would happen. She mixed tinfoil and toilet bowl cleaner in a bottle. When she brought it in to the class to show everyone, the top of the bottle shot off and smoke started coming from the bottle. Wilmot was arrested and given a 10 day suspension. She faced felony charges for discharging a dangerous weapon in a classroom. She was terrified when they told her that she was going to be arrested. She hid her face in her backpack out of embarrassment. Fortunately, she did not spend a lot of time in custody but it was still hard for her to go back to school. The school said that it was probably best that she did not finish her junior year there. She was sent to an alternative school that was for kids with behavioral and disciplinary issues to finish the last five weeks of her junior year.

Wilmot returned to Bartow for her senior year with her twin sister. Wilmot’s twin said that she and her sister were teased and taunted upon their return. They were called terrorists and told that they should be in jail and deserved what they got. Wilmot, who was once an honor roll student, was not able to graduate with honors due to the incident because her grades dropped to D’s and F’s when she was on suspension.

Though she was never convicted of any charges, her felony arrest will remain on her record. It will be a long legal battle to have them expunged. A civil rights group named The Advancement Project is working to help Wilmot. She will be attending the Florida Polytechnic University in the fall to pursue an engineering degree.