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Bartow student Kiera Wilmot will not be expelled says attorney

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POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Larry D. Hardaway, attorney for the Wilmot family, announced Wednesday that the Polk County School District will not expel Kiera Wimot for causing a chemical reaction that resulted in an explosion at Bartow High School.  

A letter from Hardaway states that action taken by the Polk County School District extinguishes the possibility of expulsion and any other discipline beyond the 10 day suspension and the placement of Kiera to an alternative education setting for the remainder of this school year.  The report also mentioned that Kiera is eager to return to her normal school environment at Bartow High School.  The letter praised the decision of the Polk County School District and thanked supporters from this and other countries.

In the letter Hardaway discussed how he will focus his attention on expunging Kiera's arrest record. 

Previously, The State Attorney's Office announced that it would not be pressing any formal charges against 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot.  Wilmot was accused of setting off a bomb at Bartow High School last month and was expelled and arrested.  After a review of the case and the fact that Wilmot does not have a criminal history, The State Attorney offered Wilmot and her guardian a diversion of prosecution.  Meaning, Wilmot and her guardian will have to successfully complete a Department of Juvenile Justice Diversion Program.  In return, the State has dropped the case against Wilmot. 

Earlier, online support was growing for Wilmot. The social justice organization called the Dream Defenders pushed for Wilmot to be allowed to return to school.  The organization staged a national call-in, that encouraged people across the country to call Polk County superintendent John Stewart.  They also took the case to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and posted a script people can use for the telephone call.

Wilmot brought household chemicals to campus in April, and mixed them in a plastic bottle that exploded.  No one was injured and there wasn't any property damage done.

Earlier this month, Bartow High School principal Ron Pritchard said Wilmot is a good student, who made a mistake. But he noted her actions violate the district's code of conduct and the law.

"If I had not done anything, all the students that were out there, the parents would have said, well, wait a minute," Pritchard said. Something exploded on campus and you didn't investigate it and do anything to protect my child."

Wilmot completed and 10 day suspension and is currently attending an alternative high school. The state attorney's office is reviewing her case, and the district has put her expulsion on hold until her criminal charges are decided.

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