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View Diary: Update on Florida teen arrested for doing science while Black (268 comments)

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  •  Frankly, I don't see a racial angle. (4+ / 0-)

    The overreaction is the result of terrorism-related paranoia. However, I do think the student should have been suspended for creating an explosion on school grounds. Give her the benefit of the doubt that it was done in the name of science and not because it's cool to blow shit up.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:59:01 AM PDT

    •  Do you think a wealthy white girl... (14+ / 0-)

      would face the same treatment?
      Teenagers do stupid things all the time.

      It's a rite of passage. But stuff like this usually gets treated with a slap on the wrist and a call to their parents. Maybe a sit-down between a parent and a guidance counselor. But rather than using this moment to gently nudge her in a more helpful direction, and encourage her development into a productive life, they arrested her, expelled her(against the advice of her school's principal who vouched for her), and were going to try her as an adult. To put her in jail? With violent offenders?

      What if this were your daughter?

      That's not in the public's interest. It's not just. It's not merciful.
      I'm tipping your comment b/c I'm hopeful you'll keep an open mind.

      •  The punishment goes WAY too far. (6+ / 0-)

        You'll get no disagreement from me on that point. And I'm guessing that cooler heads will prevail and the punishment will not be too harsh.

        But you ask me if the same thing would happen to a rich white girl. Well consider this, my fairly affluent school district has a zero tolerance policy on drugs. If a student is found with drugs, the police are notified and an arrest is made. On top of that there is an automatic suspension (2 weeks) for the first offence and mandatory expulsion for the second one. Our friend's son (a white kid) had to get a GED because he was expelled during his senior year of high school. He was just smoking a little weed on campus, not a big deal. A lot of kids his age smoke pot. But since it was his second offense, he was kicked out of school. BTW, his first offense occurred because his friend had a bottle of Southern Comfort in his backpack while riding to school in his car.

        If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

        by HairyTrueMan on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:11:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So the answer is "no?" (5+ / 0-)
          But you ask me if the same thing would happen to a rich white girl.
          I asked that specific question. If Kiera was a wealthy white girl, do you think she would face the same treatment as Kiera Wilmot? If you believe it true, you should be able to answer it directly.

          Your fact pattern is different. Why?
          I'll address the situation you raised but, I must note, you didn't answer my q...
          ...........
          ...........

          •  In the same school district... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rick Aucoin

            Under the same conditions, my answer would be probably yes. A rich white girl would probably face the same charges. Granted, she would have a better lawyer and a higher likelihood of being politically connected. But that would be a result of the "rich" part, not the "white" part.

            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

            by HairyTrueMan on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:53:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  And if it were my daughter... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical, dclawyer06, Rick Aucoin

        I'd understand the suspension but fight like crazy against the criminal charges.

        If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

        by HairyTrueMan on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:12:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not suspension... (7+ / 0-)

          expulsion a lot different.

          This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

          by Tonedevil on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:25:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Tonedevil's correction is important... (5+ / 0-)

          She wasn't "suspended" for "smoking weed on campus" or being "in possession of a bottle of Southern Comfort."* This wasn't her second run-in.

          She was expelled and arrested, in spite of an unblemished record and against the protestations of her principal, for a chemical experiment gone awry. One she deliberately performed in vacant area to lessen risks to others. The "explosion" sounds like someone opened a fizzy bottle of champagne:

          She mixed toilet bowl cleaner—essentially colored hydrochloric acid—and balls of aluminum foil in a small water bottle. The top of the bottle blew off with a satisfying bang, and there was even a puff of smoke.
          and...
          Given her statement to police and her choice of location—not the center of the school but the grassy area in the back—it feels to me more like a case of out of control curiosity.
          Link

          We're not asking for special treatment, we're asking for equal treatment. Do  you think a wealthy white girl would have been treated the same way?
          ::::::
          ::::::
          ::::::

          *For the record, I think the treatment your friend's son faced is silly. And I don't understand the practice of widespread suspensions and/or expulsions---these kids need more supervision, not less.
          But his case is not analogous to Kiera's.

          •  I know they are different circumstances. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rick Aucoin

            But both are related to zero tolerance rules. Like I wrote, it's ridiculous that the authorities are pursuing criminal charges against this girl. And the expulsion is over the top as well. But it is not a racial issue from my perspective. Most likely a white girl would be treated exactly the same.

            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

            by HairyTrueMan on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:59:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  A WHITE girl would NEVER have been charged (5+ / 0-)

      with criminality as an adult. Never. If you really think racism is not in play in this instance I would suggest you re-examine the issue.

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