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Look, what happened to Kiera Wilmot occurred in the state of Florida. Should we REALLY be surprised?

What happened to Wilmot? Oh, she got expelled from Bartow High School in some jerkwater town called Bartow, Fla. And arrested. And led from school in handcuffs.

So Wilmot must have attacked a teacher and cleaned his or her clock pretty good, right? Or brought a Tech 9 to school and waved it around.

Nah, you’re not thinking that. You’re not thinking that at all. You’re thinking that THIS HAPPENED IN FLORIDA. And yes, you’re also thinking that young Ms. Wilmot – she’s only 16 – also happens to be black.

Put those two things together – Wilmot is black and living in Florida – and you’re not surprised that what she did was to mix some aluminum foil and toilet bowl cleaner in an eight-ounce bottle. That happened around 7 a.m. on Monday, April 22.

There was a chemical reaction – the aluminum in the foil reacting with sodium hydroxide in the toilet bowl cleaner, according to a story on the web site — and the cap flew off the bottle, causing a minor explosion that sounded, according to some witnesses, like a firecracker exploding.

Smoke also came from the bottle. That was enough to get Wilmot expelled, arrested and charged – as an adult – with “possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds” and “discharging a destructive device.”

Wilmot, according to the story, is an honor roll student, makes straight A’s and has no prior disciplinary problems. Too bad she lives in Florida.

In a more reasonable state, school officials would have looked at what Wilmot did, looked at her grades and record of deportment and opted for a course of action other than expulsion, handcuffs, arrest and felony charges as an adult.

No one was hurt in Wilmot’s science experiment, and no damage was caused. But Wilmot – who will have to finish school in an alternative “expulsion program” – is black and lives in Florida. That makes all the difference.

Brenton Butler was a black kid – only 15, one year younger than Wilmot – when he was walking his dog on a Sunday morning in Jacksonville, Fla.

Unbeknownst to Butler, a black man had robbed a white tourist couple soon before he walked his dog. The robber killed a white woman.

Cops were told the suspect was a black male. Two cops were talking when one noticed Butler.

“Hey,” the one cop said. “There’s a black male right there.”

So they “persuaded” Butler to get in their patrol car and then drove him to the scene of the crime. The husband of the murdered woman positively identified Butler as the black male that shot his wife.

You can learn the details of this pathetic case in the Academy Award-winning movie “Murder on a Sunday Morning.” This is a spoiler alert, so stop reading now if you intend to rent or download the film.

It turns out Butler wasn’t the murderer. A jury acquitted him. The public defender assigned to Butler’s case was convinced that the real killer was out there somewhere, and he found him.

Believe me, when you see the physical difference between the real killer and Butler, your jaw will drop to the floor. So much for the “reliability”of eyewitness testimony.

Trayvon Martin was around the same age – 17 – as Wilmot and Butler. And we all know what happened to him.

So now we have a third element: black, living in Florida, and being a teen.

If you’re a combination of those three, you might want to steer clear of the entire state. It is clearly not black teen-friendly.

School officials in the Bartow district don’t see it that way. They issued some sanctimonious drivel defending what is clearly an over-the-top reaction to the incident, a case of carrying zero tolerance way too far.

“Anytime a student makes a bad choice it is disappointing to us,” the drivel reads. “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.”

I’ll stop here to give the people that wrote this nonsense a chance to conduct a reality check. Again: no one was harmed by Wilmot’s experiment. No damage was caused. Not a shred of evidence has been presented to show that Wilmot compromised a “safe and orderly learning environment.”

Earth to Bartow school district officials: you don’t get to redefine reality just so you can expel a student, have her handcuffed, arrested and then charged as an adult with a felony.

Here’s a reality Bartow school district officials need to familiarize themselves with: the statistics show that black students get suspended, expelled and arrested at school far more than their white counterparts, especially for the same offenses.

Got any pithy statements on THAT, Bartow school honchos?

Trayvon Martin Rally in Los Angeles, CA
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12 thoughts on “Attention Black Teens: Steer Clear of Florida, If You Can

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  2. scott ferhoople on said:

    I wish respondents could/would write in proper grammar and present logical, defendable counter point–lends credibility. An ‘experiment’… in a bathroom… with an explosive… without a teacher present… no one hurt or anything damaged (this time?)… and committed by a straight A student? Really? Is it true about 7AM in the morning… before school maybe? Many of the responses strike me as those belonging to other teenagers who are clueless about how their actions can clash with the rest of the real world.
    Nilaja, you’re the worst of the respondents in my opinion. Stupid, ignorant, and ghetto/hood rat came to mind after reading your comments. You do have some good company, but you’re the winner.

    Try adding the word ‘are’ to your first sentence after “And these…” Your fourth attempt at a sentence is a fragment–no verb or action word. In that same fragment, what relevance does Florida’s unemployment rate have to do with the discussion; it’s immaterial. You might have impressed more people with a possible hint of maturity and intelligence if you had avoided the ghetto sounding “We be free now.” We are free now resonates differently although I’m not sure of its value to the discussion. Your last sentence is a run-on sentence that most seasoned writers would break into two sentences or would use a semi-colon after “…move here…” maybe. Nah, I think most would break it up into two sentences.

    You made a ‘mistake’ in moving to Florida. Simple solution–undo the mistake, make a correction, move now. No reason to wait for “some day.” Florida will applaud your decision and action. Damn, you be stupid and ignorant–not a winning combination. An movie actor in a film is purported to have said, “This life’s hard, man, but it’s harder if you’re stupid. ” A line to ponder. I hope the future holds better for you and Florida.

  3. musicmom27 on said:

    i’m with tchmymind on this one. unless this was a class assignment with a teacher present, this is NOT a ‘science experiment’.

  4. Tchmymind on said:

    If we know the rules are different why do we continually act like they aren’t different? I mean come on…this girl is conducting a science experiment at 7 am on school grounds with chemicals she knows will be explosive? Was there a teacher present for this “experiment”? Then it ain’t an experiment. You can’t produce explosives on school grounds PERIOD

  5. shocked on said:

    I also live In Florida. A white kid at my school had a handgun and weed was found in his car, not thing happened to him.

    • M P on said:

      That is why we Black American need to stop spending our money if Florida and not go to disney world or anything and stand up for these young people the one that are lied on. Yes we do have kids that do things that should be punsihed but the things that just happen to the young girl from school was uncall for she didn’t hurt anyone and no one got hurt. Wake Up Black American and let our kids know we are not all the SAME.

  6. Nilaja on said:

    And these only the reported white crimes against black teens in Florida. Then there are the white crimes against black male adults in Florida. Understand this, Florida (and yes sorry to say I’m a resident) is 15 years behind the rest of the country. In attitudes and industry (highest unemployment rate). So, its kind of hard for them to know that, ‘we be free now’. Sure, come here for vacation and you’ll meet some pretty friendly white folk, as long as you’re spending money. Sure, make the mistake I did and move here, you’ll regret it until the day you leave. Hopefully, I’ll be leaving some day soon.

  7. R.M. on said:

    I live in Florida, where a teenager (white male) brought a fully load automatic rifle, and a semi-automatic handgun to school (Glenridge Middle School located in Winter Park, FL), and the outcome of that incident was no charges, and no expel from that school. So we understand this problem that face young Black children in our schools and while they are at home daily.

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