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 http://www.businessinsider.com — 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 http://www.businessinsider.com 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?