BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — The Polk County School Board hasn't come to any decisions about a Bartow High School student who is accused of igniting a chemical explosion on school property.
The Lakeland Ledger reports school district attorney Wes Bridges said Tuesday that Kiera Wilmot hasn't been expelled and that her case now will go before a School Board hearing officer once the criminal proceedings are completed.
"There has been no recommendation to the board to expel the student," said Bridges.
Wilmot was suspended for 10 days after the incident. When she returned to school she attended classes at an alternative school and not her high school.
Bartow High School Principal Ron Pritchard earlier had recommended Wilmot be expelled for a year, based on district's Code of Conduct, but that was put on hold until the criminal allegations against her are resolved. On Tuesday, he said Wilmot's case now will go before a School Board hearing officer once the criminal proceedings are completed.
The teen's arrest launched an international outcry on social media by those who think authorities are taking a heavy hand in her case. More than 194,000 people have signed an online petition protesting the arrest.
A lawyer representing the 16-year-old Kiera says she was conducting an experiment for a science class. Her teacher wasn't aware of the experiment.
State Attorney Jerry Hill said he expects to resolve the case soon.
"I'm not sure what the final terms will be, but the resolution will fit the crime," he said.
Wilmot was arrested April 22 for two felonies after school administrators reported she combined toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in a bottle, and the resulting gas blew the cap off the plastic bottle. Pritchard heard the blast and said he thought it was a firecracker.
Wilmot was behind the school's cafeteria when the bottle exploded, and other students were egging her on.
"I think there was a lot of peer pressure that got her into this, too," Hill told The Ledger last week.