SWB – Science while Black

“Science while Black” ??? 

Apparently a student who was otherwise in good standing did a little science experiment. It went boom (more of a “pop” actually).  She has since been expelled, is facing felony charges (and the potential loss of her 2nd Amendment rights), and now will have to get her diploma through an expulsion program.

While perhaps it was a breach of wisdom. It seems our zero tolerance policies have left our societ a bunch of blithering idiots. How many of us didn’t use the school field for a few experiments of our own? How many launched model rockets in their school playground fields?

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/04/florida_teen_girl_charged_with.php

Police incident report http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/05/florida_school_responds_to_cri.php?page=2

While I’m not sure how much race actually played in this, I will say that it is often the case that minorities do get less “benefit of the doubt”. And I do wonder if the skin tone had been different, would she merely be facing a 1-2 day suspension or reprimand. Not felony charges?

It’d be different if the student had shown persistent signs of being a trouble maker. And this came off malicious. But the feedback from even the principal was that this was not the case.  How many of us nerds did something in our high school days that pushed boundaries a little. Isn’t that part of “nerd culture”.

***

I did find it interesting how many comments on Slashdot mentioned doing the same experiment in school. With many mentioning their professors actually did this experiment in class.

Yes, curiousity can kill the cat. There should be some chastisement.  But does everything have to be a felony these days?

Note, this experiment from what I can tell is not really what I’d consider an “explosive device” and with a good lawyer, could probably get that charge dropped. It’s mostly a pressure in a bottle experiment. Not too different from dropping in a bunch of dry ice and sealing a water bottle. And watching as the dry ice sublimes into gas and increases pressure until the bottle ruptures. (The result being a slightly more intense version of jumping on and popping a juice box.)

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Published in: on May 2, 2013 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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