Until Monday morning, Kiera Wilmot was a well-behaved student at Bartow High School in central Florida with good grades and an interest in science. But that morning, she mixed some chemicals together in a small water bottle that caused a tiny explosion. There was a bang and some smoke, but nobody was even close to being hurt.
I remember doing experiments like that in high school. But Kiera was immediately called to the principal's office, expelled from her school, and arrested by the police (accused of an adult felony charge). If she gets convicted, she could even lose voting rights and have lots of trouble finding employment and housing in the future.
I'm inspired by the people (especially scientists) speaking out on Twitter with solidarity for Kiera. One look at the hashtag #KieraWilmot shows the outpouring of sympathy for what's happened to her. Curiosity is not a crime, and we shouldn't be treating it like one!
To help her out, I want to collect some funds for Kiera's family for the large legal bills that will surely come up as she fights her case in court. She deserves a top lawyer! If we manage to raise any money beyond her legal needs, it should go towards a scholarship fund for her. We need more young American women studying science, and they shouldn't be afraid of taking chances.
UPDATE: This campaign has been verified by Crowdtilt, let's start raising some funds for Kiera!
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