By all accounts, 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot was a model student at Bartow High School in Florida. She got good grades and had never been in trouble. On a recent morning before school, Wilmot mixed a couple household chemicals together in an 8-ounce water bottle that caused, according to witnesses, a small popping sound and a puff of smoke. No one was hurt and no property was damaged. Wilmot immediately explained to school staff that she was conducting a science experiment out of curiosity. Her principal, Ron Pritchard, believes her: “She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don’t think she meant to ever hurt anyone. She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did.”
This story could have ended there, but since Wilmot’s experiment caused an explosion, she was taken into custody by the school police officer, charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds (a felony), and will be tried as an adult. She was also expelled from school. Say what?! Keep reading »
In yet another case of a school valuing athletic prowess over student safety and justice, a Michigan high school has just been sued by the National Women’s Law Center for failing to respond to a sexual attack on school grounds–because the perpetrator happened to be a star player on the basketball team.
The chilling story goes like this: in 2010, a female student (Jane Doe) was sexually assaulted in Forest Hills Central High School’s soundproof band room by a well-known member of the boy’s basketball team. Jane reported the attack to a teacher, who alerted the school principal. The principal held a meeting with Jane and her parents, not to offer the school’s help in bringing Jane’s attacker to justice, but to discourage them from pressing charges. Why? To protect the young man’s chances of getting recruited to a top college team, of course! (Because if Steubenville taught us anything, it’s that there’s nothing more important than protecting the promising futures of young rapists.) Keep reading »
It’s the most hotly anticipated section of any high school yearbook: the superlatives, or “Most Likely To…” pages, where classmates laud each other for achievements ranging from amazing hair to likelihood of winning a Nobel Peace Prize. We thought it would be fun to give out some of these classic awards to each zodiac sign. Want to know what your sign won? Read on to find out, and then frantically compare the results with your friends! Keep reading »
Katelyn Norman, a 14-year-old from Tennessee, suffers from an aggressive form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. Last weekend, her doctors told her ”it has spread a lot, my cancer, and that it’s the beginning of the end of my days.” Katelyn wrote up a bucket list, which included attending her high school prom, and her school obliged, planning a prom especially for her that was set to take place on Tuesday evening.
Unfortunately, on the way to the dance, Katelyn experienced difficulty breathing and and had to be airlifted back to her room at Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Undeterred by the setback, Katelyn’s school brought prom to her: in a hospital room decorated with streamers, Katelyn’s date gave her a corsage, and she was presented with a “Prom Queen” sash. When Katelyn looked out the window, she saw hundreds of people from her community gathered in a vigil for her. “We just want to give her what she ain’t going to see,” says Katelyn’s mother. “Just try to fulfill what she wants to do, which isn’t much, but it’s something to her.” See a couple more pictures of Katelyn’s special night after the jump… Keep reading »
I watched this 17-minute documentary called “Dirty Girls” and my heart fell out of my chest for these girls. Shot by then-high school senior Michael Lucia in 1996, the film investigates a group of 13-year-old girls with a reputation for being “dirty” –as in unwashed and unclean. The “Dirty Girl” crew is spearheaded by two sisters, Amanda and Harper, who just don’t give a fuck what other people think of them. The girls make a riot grrl zine that they distribute around school — and some of the worst criticism they get is (surprise, surprise) not from boys, but from other girls, many of whom appear to espouse an “alternative” aesthetic, too.
Man, high school. Keep reading »
I was listening to Pandora yesterday and randomly–so, so randomly–Garth Brooks’ song “Friends In Low Places” came on. From the first few notes, I was instantly transported back to my rural high school gym, line dancing in a PE uniform and hating my life. But you know what? In that moment I also felt a pang of nostalgia for my tiny Oregon high school (my graduating class had a whopping 75 people in it), and I thought about all the other strange and awful and wonderful experiences I had there. So in honor of Garth Brooks and muddy trucks and parties in the woods, here are 10 ridiculous things that happen at rural, small town high schools… Keep reading »