Two years before Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for doing science while being brown and Muslim, Kiera Wilmot was arrested while a student at Bartow High School in Polk County, Florida for her science project.
Both Ahmed and Kiera were accused of “making a bomb” – Mohamed when his homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb timer, and Kiera when her volcano was taken for a “bomb”.
Now everyone knows Ahmed’s name, but few remember Kiera’s arrest for being into science while black.
“Before, I was really scared that no one was going to care about me because I’m Muslim and now everyone wants to interview me because of what happened,” Mohamed said.
Eventually even President Obama, and corporations like Microsoft weighed in to show their support for Ahmed, and speak out against the racial and religious profiling behind his arrest.
When Kiera Wilmot heard about the arrest, she “was thinking how could this happen again?”
Wilmot is now 19, but at the time of her own arrest, she was a 16-year-old student at Bartow High school in Polk County.
When her volcano was “mistaken” for a bomb, she was arrested and taken to a juvenile jail.
“No rights read to me, [I was] taken in a police car from school to a juvenile assessment center,” she recalled.
The community mobilized across the nation to support her and call flood the police and juvenile “justice center” to facilitate her release.
“I think what they did was amazing. How he had all the support behind him and what took my charges to be dropped within a month, took him only a week.”
Her school, much like Mohamed’s, still stands by their decision to call the police and have her arrested.
“It’s a little bit disappointing that there are so many comments on social media from people who I don’t think have the complete story and we have an obligation to protect all 2800 students here at MacArthur,” Lesley Weaver, a spokesperson for the Irving School District in Texas commented.
Now Wilmot is a model and mechanical engineering major at Florida Polytechnic University, and she has some advice for Ahmed.
“I’d tell him he has to keep moving forward and not let the haters get to him.”
Watch the interview below and pass it on if you still stand with Ahmed!
(Article by S. Wooten and M. David)