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Louisiana school principal apologises for punishing student for dancing at an off-campus party


A Louisiana school principal who punished a student after a video of her dancing by withdrawing her scholarship recommendation has apologised.

Jason St Pierre, the principal of Walker High School in the Livingston Parish Public Schools district, has released a statement issuing an apology to 17-year-old Kaylee Timonet and her mother after he disciplined her for a video of her dancing circulated.

Ms Timonet was at a homecoming afterparty off-campus where she and her friends were dancing with each other.

The student said she was called into the office the Tuesday morning after where she was met with the principal and the assistant principal, she said in an interview with local blog Unfiltered with Kiran.

“They basically told me that I was kicked off the student government because of a video that was sent in; I instantly started crying hysterically,” she claimed that school officials said. “They told me I should be ashamed of myself and that they were concerned for my afterlife… and I wasn’t following God’s ideals.”

She was also allegedly told that her place on the student government body would be revoked and that he would no longer recommend her for a college scholarship programme.

“I felt like my life was over… since I was little I have always worked hard at school,” she told the local blog. “No matter all the things I had accomplished, because of this video of me dancing, I felt like a failure”

The party took place off-campus on 30 September after a homecoming dance at the school. A DJ hired for the party took a video of the room filled with dancing people and posted it on social media.

Mr St Pierre had requested to take leave for the remainder 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,” said Livingston Parish Public Schools Superintendent Joe Murphy in a statement on Monday. “The district office is awaiting his paperwork to process his request.”

The soon-to-be college student had missed out on a scholarship deadline after her prinicple revoked it, then reinstated it when it was “too late”

(WAFB)

In the statement released by the principal on Sunday, a day before his request, he said he would be reinstating Ms Timonet both back into the student government association, as well as her scholarship endorsement.

“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.”

However, according to the mother of Ms Timonet, the apology has come “too little too late,” as the deadline for the scholarship had closed on 3 October, she told WAFB.

“I let him know that the scholarship deadline was done, and the damage that he’s done to her is done,” she said to WAFB. “I also told him I gave them the opportunity when I came in there at 7 o’clock the next morning, to try and rectify the situation at that point. Now, with somebody holding his hand forcing him to do something, an apology being enforced it’s too late.

The mother also told the outlet that she is consulting with attorneys about the ordeal.

Ms Timonet has only eight weeks left until she is due to graduate early from her senior year.


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