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Help Kiera with her legal bills – she was expelled and arrested for felony after a harmless science mistake

This campaign will expire at
on .
To date
$8,427.77
Expired
Tilted at [?] $4,000
Target at $20,000
Help Kiera with her legal bills – she was expelled and arrested for felony after a harmless science mistake
Angelle Stromeyer started the campaign

Until Monday morning, Kiera Wilmot was a well-behaved student at Bartow High School in central Florida with good grades and an interest in science. But that morning, she mixed some chemicals together in a small water bottle that caused a tiny explosion. There was a bang and some smoke, but nobody was even close to being hurt. 

I remember doing experiments like that in high school. But Kiera was immediately called to the principal's office, expelled from her school, and arrested by the police (accused of an adult felony charge). If she gets convicted, she could even lose voting rights and have lots of trouble finding employment and housing in the future. 

I'm inspired by the people (especially scientists) speaking out on Twitter with solidarity for Kiera. One look at the hashtag #KieraWilmot shows the outpouring of sympathy for what's happened to her. Curiosity is not a crime, and we shouldn't be treating it like one!

To help her out, I want to collect some funds for Kiera's family for the large legal bills that will surely come up as she fights her case in court. She deserves a top lawyer! If we manage to raise any money beyond her legal needs, it should go towards a scholarship fund for her. We need more young American women studying science, and they shouldn't be afraid of taking chances.

UPDATE: This campaign has been verified by Crowdtilt, let's start raising some funds for Kiera!

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Campaign Description:

Until Monday morning, Kiera Wilmot was a well-behaved student at Bartow High School in central Florida with good grades and an interest in science. But that morning, she mixed some chemicals together in a small water bottle that caused a tiny explosion. There was a bang and some smoke, but nobody was even close to being hurt. 

I remember doing experiments like that in high school. But Kiera was immediately called to the principal's office, expelled from her school, and arrested by the police (accused of an adult felony charge). If she gets convicted, she could even lose voting rights and have lots of trouble finding employment and housing in the future. 

I'm inspired by the people (especially scientists) speaking out on Twitter with solidarity for Kiera. One look at the hashtag #KieraWilmot shows the outpouring of sympathy for what's happened to her. Curiosity is not a crime, and we shouldn't be treating it like one!

To help her out, I want to collect some funds for Kiera's family for the large legal bills that will surely come up as she fights her case in court. She deserves a top lawyer! If we manage to raise any money beyond her legal needs, it should go towards a scholarship fund for her. We need more young American women studying science, and they shouldn't be afraid of taking chances.

UPDATE: This campaign has been verified by Crowdtilt, let's start raising some funds for Kiera!

 
LATEST

Hello fellow Kiera supporters! I have a MAJOR update on our efforts to help Kiera with her legal defense against the unfair treatment by her school and local authorities. But first -- I just wanted to say that I've been floored with your support and generosity for this campaign. We've raised almost $7,500 for Kiera's cause… and we're making a truly meaningful difference in this budding scientist's young life!!

I'm happy to say that -- with some help from the Crowdtilt team -- we've contacted Kiera's legal representation and figured out exactly how we're going to disburse the funds to her. Her lawyer is Larry Hardaway, a public servant with a history of helping juveniles get back on their feet after unfortunate circumstances like this one. Kiera's mom is a single parent with limited finances, but her attorney is already hard at work on Kiera's full defense against the felony charges and the injustice done to her by the local school district. He's fighting against any lasting record of this incident in her school records, as it would be terrible if this situation hindered her bright future academic prospects. I'm glad she's in the right hands with her legal defense.

Her lawyer has helped establish a formal trust with a local bank in Florida, called the "Kiera Wilmot Defense Fund", with Kiera's mother as the trustee. It's allocated specifically for Kiera's legal defense and also for her welfare and care, as these circumstances have certainly left the family shocked. So we'll be contributing our collected funds from this campaign directly to her trust, and you can be rest assured that the funds will be given directly to Kiera's legal defense and general well-being.

I've also extended the campaign a few days, because we still have to push to hit our $20,000 goal! I know it's ambitious, but the whole nation's eyes are on Kiera and her predicament. You all have done amazing work getting the word out so far, but if you could just email/share/tweet to a few more friends and colleagues, I think we still have a chance of making an even more significant contribution to Kiera's righteous fight. It's the least we can do for her cause, and to set an amazing example for young women interested in science!!!

UPDATE

Wow -- I can't believe this! The morning after starting to collect this legal defense fund for Kiera, we've ALREADY raised over $4,000 and tilted the campaign!!! This is absolutely incredible and thank you all so much for your support. Let's lead this fight against the immoral punishment for Kiera's pure curiosity!

We still have no idea how much her legal bills are going to be, but I imagine they'll be more than the tilt goal we've hit. So now the campaign has a target goal of $20,000 -- and as I mentioned in the description, any money on top of the costs of her legal defense would ideally go towards a scholarship fund for her. She's been wronged by her school and local government -- it's up to us to help her, so let's keep going full steam ahead!

I haven't been in touch with Kiera or her family yet, but I'll now be attempting to get in touch with them (along with the help of the Crowdtilt team, as they'll be handling the direct transfer of the funds to her). The outpouring of support so far has been incredible and I can't wait for us to get the money to Kiera and help her out. Thank you all so much and please continue to spread the word!!!
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