Student Given a Felony for Science Experiment, But White Kid Gets Off for Homicide
Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty out of Florida is under a great deal of scrutiny this week after allegations that she treats students differently because of race. There are reports that after the attorney recommended filing charges against a black female honor student for an exploding science experiment, people found out that she’d recommended no charges be filed against a white kid who shot and killed his older brother with a BB gun.
On Monday, April 23, Glotfelty told the Barlow Police Department to charge Kiera with two felonies for her science fair experiment. The girl mixed toilet cleaner with aluminum in a small bottle, which led to the top popping off. Afterward, there was a great deal of smoke, but no one was hurt. For some reason, Glotfelty felt that this called for felony charges to be filed against the good-natured student. The arresting officer made this comment on a police report:
I THEN CONTACTED ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY TAMMY GLOTFELTY VIA TELEPHONE. I ADVISED A.S.A GLOTFELTY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE AND SHE ADVISED THIS OFFICER TO FILE THE CHARGES OF, POSSESSING OR DISCHARGING WEAPONS OR FIREARMS AT A SCHOOL SPONSORED EVENT OR ON SCHOOL PROPERTY F.S.S. 790.115 (1) AND MAKING, POSSESSING, THROWING, PROJECTING, PLACING, OR DISCHARGING ANY DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE F.S.S. 790.161 (A).
Just a few days later, the prosecutor announced that 13-year-old Taylor Richardson would not face charges after he shot and killed his brother Skyler with a BB gun.
Glotfelty wrote this in a letter to the sheriff’s office: ”Our office has considered this case, keeping in mind that (Taylor) is 13 years of age and is a student at Roosevelt Academy.”
“After a thorough review of the facts, available to our office at this time, it is our opinion that this case can only be seen as a tragic accident,” he said.
Citizens are outraged over the disparate treatment of the two cases, one of which is clearly more severe than the other. Florida’s justice system is known for being unfair to African Americans, and these cases seem to highlight the disparity.
According to the Center for American Progress explains, black students are regularly suspended and expelled at rates that are far greater than white students:
According to the latest data, which was collected from schools nationwide during the 2009-2010 academic year, black students were three and a half times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white classmates. What’s more, African Americans made up 46 percentof those students who were suspended more than once. During the 2009-2010 school year, 39 percent of all expulsions were of black students even though they represented only 18 percent of enrolled students at sampled schools. These racial disparities in suspension and expulsion rates cannot be explained, as some contend, by socioeconomic status or by higher rates of misbehavior among students of color. Multiple studies confirm that students of color receive harsher consequences than their white peers for committing the same offenses.
If you’d like to express your concerns with the Florida State Attorney’s office, you can reach them at the address below:
Adress: 255 N Broadway Ave Bartow, FL 33830
Phone: (863) 534-4800