Kiera Wilmot: I've been called a "terrorist" | News
Lakeland, Florida - Some household products, a small plastic bottle, and a mistake at school. Kiera Wilmot's life will never be the same.
"There are people teasing me, calling me a terrorist," the tiny teen said during a news conference with her family and lawyer in Lakeland.
The 16-year-old says she brought the items to school to have her science teacher okay an experiment, but Kiera says her only mistake was when she let other kids talk her into actually trying the experiment and mixing substances.
"They were curious as well. They were wondering what would happen. One of the students knew what would happen and he's the one who said it was cool," she said.
The bottle expanded and the cap came off with a pop; no one was hurt.
But Kiera's attorney says what happened next was an overreaction by school officials who did not use any discretion or common sense. "If you make a mistake that doesn't harm anybody, why do you have to be arrested?" questioned attorney Larry Hardaway.
Thousands of people signed online petitions in support of Kiera, urging prosecutors to drop the charges and school officials to return her to Bartow High. Kiera is now attending an alternative high school, which she doesn't like, because kids tease her and she's separated from her twin sister Kayla.
The State Attorney's office eventually declined to press the felony charges, but further discipline by the school is still possible.
Kiera's mother says prayers and support from people across the country have helped the family through this ordeal.
"The people who have reached to us from all over; total strangers that are now my friends," said Marie Wilmot.
As for Kiera, her support system is pretty clear. She held hands with her sister throughout the news conference.
"Every time I come home I scream, 'Best friend, best friend!'" explained Kiera.
And Kayla immediately responds, "It gets annoying sometimes."
"But I love you," says Kiera, putting her head on her sister's shoulder.
"I love you too," says Kayla, the two hugging.