As posted recently, I mentioned that the felony charges have been dropped on Kiera Wilmot. For me, that was a very important thing to have happened. However, there are still many things up in the air, and I’ll be keeping a weather eye out to see what eventually happens to that budding young scientist.
But what I found today in my explorations for more information on Kiera made me really sad and angry. The headline in question:
This is the fallout from what happened to her. We forget in the aftermath, and the forwarding of petitions, and the donating of funds, the traumatic things that happened to this young woman who had never been in trouble before.
She was interrogated by school and law enforcement officials. She was handcuffed and taken to a juvenile detention center. Which is basically JAIL not matter if its for minors or whatever. I don’t know how long she stayed in there, and who and what kinds of youthful criminals she was exposed to or what happened to her in there.
But now she is afraid to do science, so you know the total scope of her experience in the aftermath of her experiment has deeply affected her.
Kiera’s reply to everyone encouraging her to not let this experience deter her from her dreams and Wilkes’ “get back up on that bicycle and ride, girl” comment was:
“I’m going to get off the bicycle and try the unicycle.”
It makes a nice soundbyte and it gives you some sort of hope, but remember, this is a very bright kid, and by the time of that interview, Kiera knew how and what to say and when.
I know in my heart, that this kid has been damaged by her experience, had her dreams crushed and changed, and now has a cautiousness and inhibition that I think will impede her in her continued studies in whatever field she ends up pursuing. It is in the daring, the heedless, the brave and yes, sometimes incautious spirit of experimentation where advances are made.
She might not physically be in the school-to-prison pipeline anymore, but I’m going to chalk her up as one of its victims nonetheless.
And that makes me sad and angry.