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Kiera Wilmot Expelled: Florida Student's Science Experiment Explodes, Police Charges Follow

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It wasn't the bang Kiera Wilmot was looking to make with her school project.

The teen reportedly poured toilet bowl cleaner into a bottle with a ball of aluminum foil in her high school field, which culminated with the bottle top blowing off, plenty of smoke -- and Wilmot being expelled and arrested.

Charges include the possession and discharge of a weapon on school property and the discharge of a destructive device.

The school district released the following 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."

Her case has spawned dozens of petitions at change.org, as well as harsh criticism of overzealous police culture.

“I can’t name a single scientist or engineer, who hadn’t blown up, ripped apart, disassembled something at home or otherwise cause a big ruckus at school all in the name of curiosity, myself included,” blogger DNLee wrote for Scientific American. “Science is not clean. It is very messy and it is riddled with mistakes and mishaps.”

Even her principal at Bartow High School appears to back the 16-year-old honours student.

"She is a good kid," Ron Pritchard told Tampa Bay's Channel 10 News. "She has never been in trouble before. Ever."

Writing for Slate, Michelle M. Francl also rallied to the teen's cause, writing, "It feels to me more like a case of out of control curiosity."

But the school district, responding to Miami New Times, says, kids should learn that "there are consequences to their actions."

Also on The Huffington Post

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