Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Curiosity Rewarded: Florida Teen Heading to Space Camp, Not Jail

timothy posted about a year ago | from the this-time-my-pretty dept.

Crime 241

Kiera Wilmot, the Florida high school student who was expelled from her school after an unauthorized science experiment was misperceived as a weapon (at least for purposes of arrest and charging), won't be going to jail. She will, though, be going to Space Camp, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign started by author and former NASA engineer Homer Hickham. All charges against her have been dropped.

cancel ×

241 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43803957)

It scares me shitless that my kindergartner could be kicked out of school for folding his hands and saying bang in this insane and litigious age.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (4, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year ago | (#43803989)

Intelligence? I think you mean curiosity. Let's be honest. If she had thought it through a little bit more, this "experiment" wouldn't have landed her in hot water. Curiosity is still a very good thing, though.

Re: Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804063)

Absolutely, an experiment begins with research. A simple query on the internet, or asking tje chemistry teacher, would have revealed that her idea was not prudent as implemented

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (5, Insightful)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about a year ago | (#43804117)

" If she had thought it through a little bit more, this "experiment" wouldn't have landed her in hot water."

IIRC, she cleared it with her teacher? Used a small amount of chemicals in an open area. That sounds pretty safe, cautious and intelligent to me. Nobody got hurt, but because the reaction was exothermic and dramatic, one observer felt someone *could* have gotten hurt. So, instead of reacting sensibly, they went off the deep end and called the police. The person lacking judgement and intelligence wa the school administrator, not the young lady.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#43804233)

No, the teacher did not know about the experiment. The girl mixed the chemicals on the advice of "a friend." The administration overreacted, but she probably did deserve some form of punishment. Mixing chemicals in closed containers without knowing exactly what they do (she said she thought it would just produce some smoke), and without supervision, on school property? Extremely bad idea.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1, Troll)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#43804365)

Mixing chemicals in closed containers without knowing exactly what they do (she said she thought it would just produce some smoke), and without supervision, on school property? Extremely bad idea.
You're right, an extremely bad idea. Perhaps schools should supply a person that could be charged with supervising classes.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804461)

You're right, an extremely bad idea. Perhaps schools should supply a person that could be charged with supervising classes.

The explosion happened outside, before school started...

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/charges-teen-explosion-fla-school-19189254

Re: Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804373)

Bad idea yes, but being kicked out of school and retorted to police isn't a proportional punishment.

The right answer would be a figurative slap on the wrist for "borrowing" chemicals from the lab, and some detention exercises to calculate the reaction results, and the pressures/temperatures generated in the containment vessel.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (2)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about a year ago | (#43804409)

I was wrong on clearing it with the teacher. She should have done that.
But, she gets points for "small amount" (less than 8 oz) and "open area".
And how is a reaction that pops the top off a plastic bottle in any way a "bomb" or "destructive device"? (which was how she was charged)
Bad choice of location and didn't cover her ass with the teacher, but that's all I see wrong here. We had a kid in my class at school who used to mix up far worse in the chem lab, and as far as I know, he never suffered for it.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (2, Informative)

DocMAME (933222) | about a year ago | (#43804529)

Never seen a Works bomb on YouTube, huh? Take a look and see how destructive one can be... it is a heated chemical reaction that melts the bottle as it attempts to expand and contain it prior to exploding and spraying caustic toilet bowl cleaner all about...

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43804741)

Right... because kids think exactly like you do and premeditate all their actions. I won't even go as far as to say it was stupid on her part, she simply didn't know, so it was ignorant.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (5, Insightful)

serialband (447336) | about a year ago | (#43804817)

No, the teacher did not know about the experiment. The girl mixed the chemicals on the advice of "a friend." The administration overreacted, but she probably did deserve some form of punishment. Mixing chemicals in closed containers without knowing exactly what they do (she said she thought it would just produce some smoke), and without supervision, on school property? Extremely bad idea.

The only punishment she deserved was a stern talking to. She was punished plenty by the big bang that ensued and probably scared her out of her wits. Now, she gets a reward to go to space camp. That's not quite an appropriate message either.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804363)

FTFA:

Wilmot told him a friend had told her to mix the two substances, but that she "thought it would just cause some smoke." She told the school official she wasn't trying to hurt anyone or disrupt school, but was simply "conducting a science fair experiment." The assistant principal called police after talking to Wilmot's science teacher and determining he didn't know about the experiment.

Do two overreactions make a right?

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43804523)

It's more complicated than that

"Unfortunately, what she did falls into our code of conduct," Leah Lauderdale, a spokeswoman for the district, tells Riptide. "It's grounds for immediate expulsion."

More specifically, Wilmot's mini-explosion -- which came after she mixed "common household chemicals" in a plastic bottle -- violates Section 7.05 of the school's conduct code, Lauderdale says, which mandates expulsion for any "student in possession of a bomb (or) explosive device... while at a school (or) a school-sponsored activity... unless the material or device is being used as part of a legitimate school-related activity or science project conducted under the supervision of an instructor."

...Wilmot's principal acknowledges that the 16-year-old wasn't trying to hurt anyone and simply made a "bad choice," the school's rules said she had to be expelled.

...The spokeswoman says the school district stands by its rules. "We urge our parents to convey to their kids that there are consequences to their actions," she says.

source [miaminewtimes.com] They undoubtedly maintained that since a teacher wasn't present at the time, that violated the letter of the law and, obviously, "NO EXCEPTIONS TO RULES EVER" is the most important message schools can teach to kids. (sarcasm)

There's also obviously a bit of "I'm just following orders, it's not me who is doing this clearly stupid and unethical thing even though I am the actual one expelling you."

I think there are two big roots to the problem. The first is zero tolerance policies. Schools love them deep down because it makes fretful parents think their children are safer, and also probably dealing with kids all day makes you really want to clamp down hard with rules for your own sanity. And obviously in this case, the school was more interested in showing that students are not going to be blown up by science-loving terrorist children than they were in the student. Even if the schools didn't want zero tolerance, all the other idiots involved want them, legislators and parents.

The second is personal liability. No one wants to stand up and say "Fuck that rule, it's a stupid fucking rule" and then potentially lose their job. I have no idea how likely that would have been in this case. Evidently, no one even wanted to say "She DID have permission, so she's not really violating the rules." Maybe the teacher who gave her permission chickened out and said "Well, I didn't give her permission to do THAT, so please don't fire me.

TLDR: it would be nice if someone had the power to use their own judgement and intelligence here, but there are plenty of mechanisms in place to ensure that can't happen. Preventing this type of idiotic heavy-handed action will require bigger changes than one administrator growing a brain and/or balls.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#43804809)

My HS physical science teacher would pull out a cylinder of pure Sodium every year and take his classes outside. There he had a 5 gallon bucket of water and a 2x4 with a string tied to it. He'd cut off a slice of the sodium and place it atop the 2x4 which sat atop the 5 gallon bucket. He'd then move everybody a safe distance and drop the sodium into the water by pulling the string. BAM! [youtu.be] He'd probably get arrested for doing that today...if not he'd definitely get hauled in for igniting the magnesium [youtu.be] inside the classroom.

So sad.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804885)

How many years ago? My HS Chem teacher did that around 97-98. And that was in Cali, king of the nanny-states.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804149)

Let's be honest. If she had thought it through a little bit more, this "experiment" wouldn't have landed her in hot water.

I defy you to tell us honestly that you would have "thought it through a little bit more" when you were her age.

It's pretty clear by your statement that you have no idea what children are actually like, nor have any of your own.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804317)

If the GP had children of their own, would they not know what children are like? Thus, if they do not know what children are like, they clearly have none of their own. And, yes, I have intentionally posted something redundant in order to point out your redundancy.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

supervillainsf (820395) | about a year ago | (#43804679)

If the GP had children of their own, would they not know what children are like? Thus, if they do not know what children are like, they clearly have none of their own. And, yes, I have intentionally posted something redundant in order to point out your redundancy.

I know quite a few parents who have no idea what children are like. You presume a level of interaction with ones spawn that is not necessarily present.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804785)

Having children and raising children are two different things by definition of the legal system mentioned above (think custody cases). So no, you're about as ignorant as the administration in this case.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804979)

I defy you to tell us honestly that you would have "thought it through a little bit more" when you were her age.

To be fair, the girl is 16. She's not exactly a child.

Re: Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

joebagodonuts (561066) | about a year ago | (#43804643)

So "Intelligence" means don't take risk? Do only what is permitted?

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about a year ago | (#43804841)

Yeah, but killing with a BB gun is fine there.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

Ferzerp (83619) | about a year ago | (#43803997)

Fear motivates the world (or at least the US) these days.

The media peddles it, the two political parties (I was tempted to say major, but they have a lock on it) *both* peddle it to great effect. They each have their own brand, but they're both villainous in their exploitation of it.

The public has bought in to it, and individuals and groups lacking in scruples have noticed that it can be used to rally support.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#43804471)

Fear is our biggest problem right now.

Why aren't we going to the Gym to get in shape? Fear of going into a gym out of shape and being judged by others. (I will go to the Gym after I lose 20 lbs)
Why aren't we starting our own businesses but dealing with the lower reward working for a company? Fear that our ideas will get sued by patent trools or other companies. Or if the case your product did fail in some way you are responsible for a problem that is much bigger than you.
Why are Religious Fundamentalists going nuts about evolution and gay rights? They are afraid these changes will cause our culture to reject religion and have society force them to be atheist.
Why are businesses not expanding? They are afraid that new regulations will make it impossible for them to work. ...
Our culture has been poisoned with fear. But there isn't anything really about the facts to be afraid of, but because off all the fear we are paralyzed into doing the best thing for ourselves and our culture.

Politically is isn't about right vs left. It is about most of our leaders are or were Lawyers, They think in terms of a Lawyers, our leaders are not made up of peers of different skills. Except for adding a new law, perhaps we can change a process. Instead of trying a way to prosecute people who do things that are negative culturally lets try ways that will change their behaviors proactively, as well rehabilitate post incident.

For example I got into a car accident. I rear ended a car, however I did help prevent the car behind me from rear ending me, and the car in front of me got very little damage, while my car got the brunt of it. I never got in such an accident before. However the police at the scene figure they had to give me a ticket because in my state I am legally responsible. Except for the fact that I am now without my favorite car and have to pay a good insurance deductible, they felt like to rub some salt into my wound by adding a $100 ticket. The system is setup to try to discourage people from committing the crimes, they figure if you get punished for it you will learn your lesson. Except for slightly modifying the roads so these things wouldn't happen, or just realizing the person is already in enough pain. But our leaders are lawyers, every law that is broken and caught needs a punishment. So people will live in fear of breaking the laws.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43804905)

Part of the problem is that most laws don't take morality into effect. Sure, some laws have a min and max punishment to help judge the severity, but there's no real system to say does this law apply or not in this situation. This starts at the highest levels of government (where they just buy their way out of any law), and trickles down to your motorcycle cop, who's more interested in making his/her quota then actually helping people and serving justice.

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how to fix it, except remember we have min maxs for this reason as well as probation and parole. Probation is exactly that: you did wrong, so can you be good for a year or two now? There's many examples of it working, and it failing (ex. you get a DUI, but you keep drinking at home, probation finds out through a variety of ways, and now do 2-3 months of jail time, you get exposed to hardened criminals, etc...)

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43804001)

you forgot the step where they call the police to come for your little terrorist-in-training. Because we that as kids that played cops'n'robbers or soldiers or cowboys'n'injuns grew up to be violent mass murderers....oh wait we didn't

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43804627)

Let me present another viewpoint here:

She should've never been expelled, charged, or anything. No rewards, or punishments, maybe a warning and explanation, just kids being kids.
The person who got scared the most by the experiment was probably her, and that's it... that's where it ends.

Everything else that happened in this case is adult humans failing left and right, the police, the school officer, the principal, bunch of f'in morons who aren't fit to work at a McDonalds yet hold positions of authority. That's the real problem here, and we are worse as a whole for it.

Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804645)

She built a Drano bomb. That's not intelligence.

If that what it takes to get into Space Camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43803993)

Then I should have my own Moon base considering the "experiments" I did at that age!

Re:If that what it takes to get into Space Camp (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804189)

Experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs doesn't count.

Re:If that what it takes to get into Space Camp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804845)

But you were born with a penis and a lack of melanin.

No free space camp for you.

I Think This Is A Bad Thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804023)

I agree that it was ludicrous that she was charged with a felony, but at the same time I don't think its right that she is getting handsomely rewarded for an action that was unauthorized and not allowed.
I believe rules are rules and you break them, you should be punished, not rewarded. In this case, thanks the publicity, she is greatly benefitting from breaking the rules. This sets a bad example to the youth of our nation that rulebreaking can pay.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804129)

I believe rules are rules and you break them, you should be punished, not rewarded. In this case, thanks the publicity, she is greatly benefitting from breaking the rules.

Congratulations, you are exactly what is wrong with the world. Rules are made for people, they are not sacred.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1, Interesting)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#43804229)

What's wrong with the world? Really? As much as I love to fly in the face of authority, I still think rules serve a purpose in society. I broke plenty of rules as a young'n, but I managed to not get caught. If I did get caught, I didn't expect to be sent to camp. She's curious, and that should be encouraged. She blatantly broke rules and got caught, that should be punished. There is a happy medium somewhere between prison and all-expense-paid vacation. Rewarding this girl for breaking rules will only drive her to a life of politics.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (2)

fazig (2909523) | about a year ago | (#43804401)

So it is ok to reward people that don't get caught?
The charges were dropped but she didn't get rewarded by the authorities, the crowd funding project rewarded here, which is funded by 'people'. The same people that might have been on the jury during her day in court, which might also have said 'not guilty' considering all the circumstances.
Rules are not set in stone, rules have to be able to be criticized and changed according to the circumstances. Just because a single rule was broken it doesn't justify a punishment that is out of the ordinary. She was charged with a felony, which is not a trivial offense.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#43804731)

Why can nobody understand the subtle, intricate differences between punishment and reward? She was playing with dangerous chemical reactions in the parking lot of her school. What part of that should be rewarded?
I'm all for sending a science-curious young girl to space camp. We should encourage children to experiment. We should also make sure children know they shouldn't carry out dangerous experiments without proper precautions. What if she blinded herself and an handful of classmates? Seems that should be discouraged. In fact, maybe it should even make it against the rules.
I just said she should be punished. Y'know, a stern talking to, maybe detention. Adult felony charges would be overkill. However, just because I think the prosecution is severely overreacting, doesn't mean I should retaliate by severely under-reacting. Doing so compromises your own ideals and might even make you a strawman for the opposition.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804865)

This. Fazig is no better than the people who sicced the cops on this girl.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

fazig (2909523) | about a year ago | (#43804891)

Punishment, lecturing, reward - the differences sometimes are really subtle.
When she is "forced" to learn about scientific methods at the Space Camp, it could be considered some kind of punishment, it would be similar to detention. An expensive form of detention, but since people pay with their spare money and not everyone paid through their taxes I don't see a problem.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (5, Insightful)

crakbone (860662) | about a year ago | (#43804593)

I think your confusing punishment with rehabilitation. This is a child that had bad judgement. She got her punishment, she got arrested, she got expelled, and she got charged with a felony. For a child those are all major. But on the other side she has been given a chance to push her energies into an area where she will not be endangering or causing heart attacks for school administrators. With children it is always better to drive the energy in the direction you want rather than straight up stop it.

Re: I Think This Is A Bad Thing (2, Insightful)

joebagodonuts (561066) | about a year ago | (#43804689)

Are you sure she was the party exhibiting bad judgement? I'm not. I'm of the opinion the "authorities" in this case were the ones guilty if poor judgement.

Re: I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#43804933)

I'd wager that you're both right. One need not exclude the other.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#43804907)

No, I'm saying she should get a fitting punishment rather than a sugar-coated felony. Getting the charges dropped is awesome, and along with an apology and policy reform, should have been the end of the story.
Rather than felony charges and spacecamp, two opposing, exaggerated reactions trying to cancel each other out; how about detention, a reasonable, fitting punishment. Instead of greeting friends with a kiss on the lips and a kick in the balls, why not just shake hands.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804169)

Because fear of jail time, hassle from overly-aggressive authority figures, being expelled, and being publicly embarrassed wasn't really a punishment at all?

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43804179)

Why is it so obvious that you should be punished for for breaking a rule? Just actiling like a robot and punishing her clearly wouldn't have made anything better for anyone, cerainly not for her.

Re:I Think permission Is A Bad Thing (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about a year ago | (#43804185)

Rules bools gools ...  you need permission bytch to take a crap? No ??  Sound like  gub'mnt  brownshirt thugs gonna lublublub the blojobs you pass out.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804193)

When does following the rules pay off?

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804215)

I donated to one of the funds for her.

Eat your heart out, shithead.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43804255)

I believe rules are rules and you break them, you should be punished

You know she's still expelled, right? Space Camp is a consolation prize.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804259)

You must be from Europe or some shit region. This is America and rules were made broken. Sorry you are so jealous.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (5, Funny)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#43804281)

Einstein broke Newton's rules. Is that bad?

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (5, Insightful)

onkelonkel (560274) | about a year ago | (#43804287)

"I believe rules are rules and you break them, you should be punished, not rewarded." - Congratulations, you have met the requirements for German citizenship.

Her being punished for an "unauthorised" science experiment will tend to discourage curiosity and scientific inquiry in other children. This is bad for America. By rewarding her we encourage curiosity and scientific inquiry, which is good for America.

We could even get away from the mindless "zero tolerance" crap and maybe send a nuanced message. Send her to Space Camp, but have her write a paper on the risks of experimenting with homemade explosives and what safety measures she should have taken, but didn't and how it could be done more safely next time.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43804875)

"I believe rules are rules and you break them, you should be punished, not rewarded." - Congratulations, you have met the requirements for German citizenship.

I was going to say "you must be a Good German", but it amounts to the same thing.

have her write a paper on the risks of experimenting with homemade explosives and what safety measures she should have taken, but didn't and how it could be done more safely next time

And maybe a week's suspension of something. What the OP overlooks is that what people object to is not her being punished for doing something stupid and potentially dangerous, but the absurd severity of the threatened punishment. Arrest, felony charges, WTF? What the "authorities" put her through is a far greater crime than anything she did.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (2)

Roblimo (357) | about a year ago | (#43804927)

Note that this is Polk County, Florida. Out there they believe the earth is 6000 years old and that The Flintstones was a documentary.

(I live one jurisdiction West, in Manatee County. We win't brilliant here, but most of us understand evolution and stuff like that.)

It is bad, but for different reason (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804311)

This case sets a good example/excuse for the law makers and administrators to tighten up the rules to be more draconian so kids can't pull these stunts again.

I wouldn't be surprised if schools consider banning tin foil.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (5, Informative)

dragon-file (2241656) | about a year ago | (#43804361)

I dont think you know who Homer Hickam is. Homer was a kid who grew up in a mining town where either you graduated high school and went to the coal mines or you got out on a football scholarship. He had a curiosity about space and rockets that could almost be described as fanaticism. His farther didn't support him, his friends initially didn't support him and only one person encouraged him, his teacher Mrs. Riley.

He performed countless experiments throughout his high school days most of which were dangerous but he never gave up.

He eventually graduated high school and went on to Virgina Tech and got a BS in Industrial engineering.

He then went into the military and got into NASA and I'm sure I'm missing things in between.

The point is, after seeing who elected to send her to space camp, the reasons become clear and make sense.

Homer Hickam [wikipedia.org]

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#43804639)

If you want to see Homer Hickam's story, you can watch the excellent movie October Sky [imdb.com] . In the movie, they definitely accidentally blow some stuff up while inventing rockets. And they got in trouble, but they didn't get expelled, jailed and have their lives ruined.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

dragon-file (2241656) | about a year ago | (#43804737)

Exactly! This is why Homer stepped in in this case. This kid probably reminded him of himself when he was that age. And he knows better than most that in this case what she needed was support not expulsion.

Re:I Think This Is A Bad Thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804507)

Comma much?

It was once a rule that blacks couldn't drink from white water fountains. You seriously think a black man should be punished for getting a god damned drink? The bad example here is your response, implying that the system is perfect and that if everyone just followed the rules we'd have a perfect world. It don't work that way sister.

In fact if you look around the business world, the wealthiest people on the planet got their place in history by breaking the rules. From Apple's IP theft from Xerox of the mouse and GUI to Wallstreet's billion dollar golden parachutes, rules were made to be broken.

It's no surprise that the people making the rules tend to be the worst offenders, case in point, all three of the most recent US presidents have admitted to drug use at some time in their lives, from Clinton's "tried marijuana but did not inhale" to G.W.Bush's cocaine conviction to Obama's "enthusiastic" use of marijuana and cocaine in his college days as admitted in his 1995 book Dreams from my Father.

That is (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43804033)

amazing news, congrats for the kid.

my son's friend is going to same camp (1)

ei4anb (625481) | about a year ago | (#43804035)

I'll ask him to say hello and give our good wishes. October Sky is one of our favourite films and let's hope Kiera does as well as Homer Hickam did despite his early escapades.

Re:my son's friend is going to same camp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804429)

You allow your child to go to a camp with negros?

Total Win (5, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#43804041)

I'm glad to see that at least some people have morals. Wanting to experiment with science and NOT hurting anyone in the process shouldn't be met by being kicked out of school, she's getting what she deserves.

Re:Total Win (2)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#43804263)

I would go as far to say, if she accidentally hurt someone, she still shouldn't have been kicked out of school. Intent is a major factor there. If a football player accidentally injures another player, should he get kicked off the team? Kicked out of school?

Re:Total Win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804307)

Morals? Ha, try elementary sense. No sane person should ever consider prosecuting someone else over obviously non-malicious and non-disruptive actions. Society only stands to lose from such pointless alarmism.

Re:Total Win (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43804357)

Wanting to experiment with science and NOT hurting anyone in the process shouldn't be met by being kicked out of school, she's getting what she deserves.

Given that currently she's still kicked out of school, those two statements don't seem to match up.

Obligatory Godwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804955)

You know who else liked to experiment?

Mengele!

Build a bomb ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804047)

Compare with http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/3-teens-arrested-in-blasts-at-Bakersfield-school-4542656.php

If you build a bomb, using a recipe right out of the Anarchist's Cookbook, and set it off at a school, you can escape any consequences if you play the minority card.

Re:Build a bomb ... (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year ago | (#43804203)

Yup, even though you are hiding behind being an A.C., those are pretty much my thoughts too, although you forgot to mention to call it an "experiment" rather that a risk to the safety of others.

Re:Build a bomb ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43805057)

When Mentos are outlawed, only outlaws will have Mentos...
the FreshMaker

in my class (4, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43804057)

In my high school chemistry class, we made gunpowder (which someone accidentally shattered a mortar and pestle with) and hydrogen mini-rockets (we filled ours with butane and put a hole in the ceiling tiles) and that was called a chapter in the book, not a crime. Though unlike the media, I think the difference isn't that I'm white, it's that that school district and police department is full of complete morons.

Re:in my class (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804093)

Fuck you for bringing race into this.

That is all.

Fuck you for bringing in political correctness (-1, Flamebait)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about a year ago | (#43804251)

Black / Hispanic civil rights group = OK

White civil rights group = Racist

I am not white but I can clearly see the problem.

Re:in my class (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804269)

Fuck you for bringing race into this.

That is all.

Since you have no reading comprehension let me spell it out for you. The previous post said that the media is the one pushing the race angle and the poster's own opinion is that it's a case of incompetence (and I would additionally infer the poster was talking about the zero tolerance policy the district passed).

Re:in my class (1)

Lab Rat Jason (2495638) | about a year ago | (#43804301)

The original story brought race into it: It said she was getting all this harassment while a while kid who accidentally shot and killed his brother with a BB gun was getting no charges. I think it is absolutely imperative to acknowledge that race could be a contributing factor to the severity of peoples reactions. I'm glad that reasonable people have seen this for what it really is, and the young lady is getting an opportunity instead of being held back. Also: shame on your for bringing the "F" word into it... ;)

Re:in my class (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43804399)

As it has been stated, all other media coverage of the initial incident weasel-word-suggested that it was because of race. Some actually just plain stated it even.

Not even that complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804313)

The difference between now and then is that the business of government is twice as large. The larger the government, the more "crimes" per year, the more "criminals" per population, and the more "justification" for the next expansion of power and revenue.

Re:in my class (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43804355)

I think the difference isn't that I'm white, it's that that school district and police department is full of complete morons.

Let me guess: did not go to school in Florida?

Re:in my class (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43804379)

Bingo! Lol, Wisconsin.

Re:in my class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804375)

In my high school chemistry class...

I have a vivid memory of a few students (I will not confirm direct involvement) tossing a decent-sized hunk of sodium out into the courtyard adjacent to the chem lab in the middle of a seattle rain storm. :-}

Re:in my class (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#43804455)

Was it black powder or a more modern nitro cellulose based one? While I didn't get to do those exact things there were some rather fun "experiments" we did. There was the create 1 mol of a random precipitate where the teacher screwed up and my partner and I got one that didn't precipitate but instead made the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide (I think that was it I could be wrong as it was a long time ago). It was only after we had started the reaction that the teacher announced that whom ever had that one to not do it. We piped up that we had run the experiment and didn't get a precipitate but a bad smelling yellow liquid and were going to try a different method. The teacher pulled the fire alarm and everyone got the rest of the day off of school. There was also the thermite demonstration where the rock in the bottom of the flower pot melted and molten iron came spilling out the bottom onto the table and floor setting the carpet on fire that the teacher did. I do wonder if the frozen puddle of iron is still there. Finally there was the figure out what a random salt was and we got one that had some rather violent reactions that broke some glassware, sent a cork shooting up to brake a ceiling tile, and had combustion that seemed to border more on detonation. All in all it was a good class and it wasn't a great lab unless something ended up on fire.

Re:in my class (1)

pongo000 (97357) | about a year ago | (#43804641)

We made nitrogen triiodide and copper acetylide...both very explosive, both very fun to play with. No one got hurt, no one got arrested either. Science now in schools is so watered down that they don't even have chemistry lab anymore in most public schools...instead, students watch the teacher do the lab and then write about it. Hardly a robust science education...and everyone wonders why we can't get more students involved in science?

Nice (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about a year ago | (#43804099)

It gives me a warm glow that things worked out this way.

Now if the warden of a local maximum security prison were to start a crowd-funding campaign, I'd be willing to sponsor a short stay in jail for those that brought charges against this curious schoolgirl.

Homer Hickam is freakin' awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804177)

I've always had a high respect for Mr. Hickam, and I'm really glad to hear this is happening. Couple this with the viral video of the kid who told off his world history teacher, and you've the makings of a rebellion against the factory-style approach that politicians are foisting upon public education.

This could get interesting, and for the better.

Should have been punished, but not charged (4, Informative)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | about a year ago | (#43804343)

What she made wasn't really a science experiment; it was a "bottle bomb" consisting of mixing tinfoil and Drano in a Coke bottle. These explosives are well-known among schoolyard pranksters and can cause serious injury (chemical burns, loss of fingers, etc.)

It's not politically correct to say, but if she was cooking one of these up on school property with her friends without teacher oversight, she should have been punished. As long as she didn't actually hurt anyone, though, it should have amounted into a few days' detention at worst.

That said, I'm happy she's going to space camp and that this sort of mischief might develop into a real interest in science.

Re:Should have been punished, but not charged (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#43804527)

Hell we were doing those experiments in my 7th grade chemistry class where chemistry was basically like a cook book with little understanding. We would have a test tube with acid in it, drop in some aluminum foil, put a balloon over it to fill it with hydrogen. Tie off the balloon attach a string so it floats up and touch with a lit match on a yard stick and have a little chuckle at the pop and fire.

Re:Should have been punished, but not charged (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#43804591)

it's not an explosive any more than a popping balloon is.

Re:Should have been punished, but not charged (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year ago | (#43804747)

it's not an explosive any more than a popping balloon is.

Yes it is. Aside from the fact that a balloon doesn't involve dangerous sharp or caustic parts flying in all directions, popping a balloon doesn't involve a chemical reaction. This draino bomb does indeed involve a chemical reaction. In that sense it is little different than any other chemical reaction. True, the draino-aluminum reaction is slower as pressure builds up, but in the end there is a dangerous violent burst (intentionally) caused by a chemical reaction.

Re:Should have been punished, but not charged (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about a year ago | (#43804795)

Exploding hydrogen is more than a popping balloon. It can burn you. Also it generates toxic dihydrogen monoxide. In a closed quarter that could be lethal if inhaled.

Re:Should have been punished, but not charged (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#43804663)

A three-day suspension would have been reasonable, with a warning that any sort of experiment like this must involve the science teacher for safety reasons. Expulsion, arrest and criminal charges are ridiculous.

Re:Should have been punished, but not charged (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804787)

It's not politically correct to say, but if she was cooking one of these up on school property with her friends without teacher oversight, she should have been punished.

That actually is the politically correct viewpoint. The conservative viewpoint here is "kids will be kids" with an emphasis on learning via hands on experimentation. This story seems to be putting people on the opposite side of the fence than what they're used to which is interesting. Liberals are seeing what a nanny state looks like and conservatives are seeing the risks and potential dangers associated with lack of regulation.

Back in the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804345)

I'm glad I grew up when I did.. if I even did 1/3 of the crap today that I did back in my childhood, I wouldn't be in federal prison, I'd be in Guantanamo... Everything from making real IED's (not bottle cap explosions / minor pipebombs.. but real explosives), to self-learning the practices of SERE.. it would have been portrayed that I was being taught by a terrorist network.

In the bid for ratings, the media conglomorate keeps sensationlizing the bad stuff, instilling fear into the majority of the American public, while giving a reason to the lunatics of today to go "shoot up a school" for their 5 minutes of fame. This in turns leads to almost no resistance for the government to, one the minor spectrum, bend our rights, and on the other end of the spectrum, do away with them altogether, while we, the American public, agree with what they're doing since it "protects" us.

Looking back, I'm kinda glad that I learned what I did, when I did, if I ever need to use it again - should the unthinkable happen (ie: Police state).

You've got to be fucking kidding me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804483)

The kid partakes in an unauthorized, explosive "experiment" she saw on Youtube, claims it's a "science experiment," where no teacher knew about it, it was not during nor for any class she was taking, did not observe any material safety protocols, and could have harmed others, and she's being rewarded.

You know, I'm getting fucking sick and tired of facts being determined by the court of public opinion. The published facts of this case support charges for explosive device making, endangering others, and many, many more.

Zero tolerance for zero tolerance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804491)

It's time we started making very loud and angry noises about zero tolerance being utterly unacceptable[1]. Students need the freedom to screw up in the pursuit of fooling around with some learning.

Things need to be exploded, burnt, and launched. Children need to have the freedom to throw balls at each other, wrestle, and do other dangerous things. Criminalizing mistakes and foolishness is as near fascist behavior as I have ever heard.

Tomfoolery for all, everywhere!

[1] Don't make a false equivalency between things that look scary and acts that are harmful.

Oh Sure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804497)

Those poor Boston marathon bombers? They were simply mixing chemicals together because they were curious. They added a bunch of nails in there because they were into carpentry too.

Lots of fat white men (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#43804561)

I fail to see how this frame proves it rob ford, lots of fat blond men look like him.

Re:Lots of fat white men (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#43804725)

I fail to see how this frame proves it rob ford, lots of fat blond men look like him.

Wrong thread. This is about the space camp thing not the video thing.

I hope the prick-incipal will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43804909)

...eat his hat for this! He must be turning red in his face like a ripe tomato.

NASA Ames Research Center (2)

iHambone (2436420) | about a year ago | (#43804911)

Liquid nitrogen will do the same thing.

As an intern at NASA Ames during summer break, I thought it would be fun to do a little experiment on the expansion of gas inside a contained vessel. So I put a small amount of LN2 into a 2-liter cola bottle and set it in an unoccupied back parking lot surrounded by 3-story, nearly windowless buildings. As the LN2 changes to gaseous form, the bottle began to expand, almost in-noticeably. After a minute or two, the glued on, wrap around label snapped off, and few seconds later, I heard one of the loudest bangs that I have ever heard in my life.

Before I knew what was happening, we were surrounded by MPs. But before the situation got out of hand, my Senior Researcher came out of the building to explain to the worried guards that this was merely a case of an ignorant intern forgetting to remove the cap before disposing of the harmless liquid. There were some stern looks, but that was the end of it. Unsurprisingly, I was not charged with a felony.

Lesson learned: don't blow up things on NASA bases. I think I can live with that.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?