Teen charged with making, discharging weapon at Bartow High School expelled, according to police

BARTOW, Fla. - A junior at Bartow High School is accused of bringing a homemade bomb to school and setting it off near an outside gazebo around 7 a.m.

Police say the bomb the 16-year-old girl brought to school Monday morning had enough power to blow a brick mailbox in half.

"The explosion, the concussion could cause physical injuries," explained Lt. Gary Wayne McLin with the Bartow Police Department.  "The plastic bottle could become a projectile and it could cut you or impale itself into the body."

Not to mention, it could cause burns.

Police told ABC Action News the teen brought a plastic bottle to school filled with volatile chemicals she found around her house.  They say she finished mixing the concoction on school grounds and then waited for it to explode.

"The principal heard it and administrators heard the explosion.  She was still there when they got there," Lt. McLin added.

The girl allegedly told police she was working on a science project.  However, when police questioned her science teacher, they were told there was no such assignment and no upcoming science fair.

Classmates who know the teen say they are not surprised she would be involved in something like this.

"When we heard there was an explosion were were like, 'Oh my God!'" said Elvin Brea, a senior.   "Then, they told us who it was we shrugged it off like, 'Yeah it seems like something they would do.'"

Brea, 18, described the girl as 'weird.'

"Just in general she stands out. She is not really labeled.  Just stands out," he explained.

The girl was arrested and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.

She's charged with possessing and discharging a weapon on school grounds as well as making and discharging a destructive device.

ABC Action News is not naming the teen because she has not been charged as an adult.

We did try to speak with the girl's mother Monday night but she declined to comment.

Neighbors said the girl tried running away from home a few months back.

Police believe the teen learned how to make the bomb by cruising the internet at home.

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