aluminum foil inside a plastic water bottle, a trick known familiarly as a "Drano bomb" or "works bomb." As predicted in online descriptions (and shown in video),shortly after Kiera Wilmot mixed the ingredients and put the cap on the bottle,hydrogen gas was produced, with enough pressure to pop the top off the bottle withthe sound of a small firecracker.Arguably, that was a stupid thing to do, at least on school grounds.
So the Question Quickly Arises, Are There Any Grown-Ups Here?
Then the adults got involved and took the stupidity to higher levels, quickly producinga stupidity tsumani of an all too familiar American kind.The first adult on the scene is Dan Durham, white, the assistant principal in charge of discipline at Bartow High. He hears the bottle pop outside the building before theschool day starts. He goes to investigate. He finds Kiera Wilmot and she tells him thewhole story, such as it is.She tells him it's an experiment she was doing in anticipation of the science fair.Apparently not believing her, perhaps fearing an international terror conspiracy,Durham calls her science teacher (who remains anonymous), who says that KieraWilmot's bottle pop has nothing to do with her science class with him, so his skirts areclean. Of course what she does for science class is different from the science fair, butapparently no one tries to figure that out.Continuing his enforcement action, Dan Durham calls the cops, which is easy enoughsince there's a "resource officer" on the premises.At some point principal Ron Pritchard, white, doesn't get involved and lets thesituation continue to spin out of control. Faced with a bright young 16-year-old honor student with a perfect behavior record, who admits she just did an experiment that waslouder than she'd expected, principal Pritchard doesn't act to put Kiera Wilmot'sharmless behavior in perspective.
An Educator With a Passive-Aggressive Vicious Streak
Instead, with a kind of passive-aggressive viciousness, he ignores the best interests of a child under his care, he doesn't exercise leadership or good judgment, he stays out of the way. Maybe he thinks he's defending the institution, or himself, but whatever hewas thinking, he lets law enforcement help make things worse.