A high school principal in Louisiana has requested a leave of absence after he punished a student for dancing at a party.
According to ABC News, three days after after he saw a video of student Kaylee Timonet allegedly twerking at a homecoming party, Jason St. Pierre, principal at Walker High School, revoked her college scholarship endorsement and dismissed her from her position in the student government association.
The 17-year-old’s mother, Rachel, told The Advocate that St. Pierre scolded her daughter by printing out Bible verses and telling her she wasn’t “living in the Lord’s way.”
St. Pierre also allegedly “questioned who her friends were and if they followed the Lord,” Rachel told the outlet, adding, “She said she didn’t know how to answer that and they said it’s a yes or no question. Meanwhile, she’s sobbing.”
“I was really, really upset because student government is the best thing that happened to me during high school. They basically told me I should be ashamed of myself and that they were concerned about my afterlife if I wasn’t following basically God’s ideals, which made me cry even more,” Kaylee told the Unfiltered With Kiran YouTube channel.
After the story went public, St. Pierre issued a statement via the Livingston Parish Public Schools Facebook page.
“I have had time to consider my actions, have conversations with the Timonets, and meet with district staff. First, let me say that I have apologized to the Timonets and I am hopeful that my scheduled meeting with Kaylee’s mom will rectify this situation and allow Kaylee to enjoy the remainder of her senior year at Walker High School,” St. Pierre began.
“I will be reinstating Kaylee’s position on the Student Government Association. The SGA was created to give students a voice in their school and their community, to promote leadership qualities, and to represent their school with pride, enthusiasm, and respect,” he continued.
St. Pierre also shared he plans to reinstate scholarship endorsements for Kaylee: “During my conversation with Kaylee regarding the dance party, the subject of religious beliefs was broached by Kaylee and myself. While that conversation was meant with the best intentions, I do understand it is not my responsibility to determine what students’ or others’ religious beliefs may be — that should be the responsibility of the individual.”
In a statement to ABC News, district officials confirmed St. Pierre had requested a leave of absence through the end of the school year.
“Walker High School Principal Jason St. Pierre has requested to take leave for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year. The district office is awaiting his paperwork to process his request,” Livingston Parish Public Schools Superintendent, Joe Murphy, said.
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