LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – The principal of Walker High has released a statement following the large amounts of backlash on social media for his response to a student’s dancing video.
Kaylee Timonet, a senior at Walker High, was called to Principal Jason St. Pierre’s office after a video of her dancing at a homecoming after-party off campus was posted on social media. Timonet was stripped of her role as president of the Student Government Association and a scholarship opportunity.
Rachel Timonet, Kaylee’s mom, told BRProud that her daughter was also asked about her religion and forced to watch the video again. People on social media quickly supported Kaylee by selling t-shirts that said, “Let the Girl Dance.”
On Sunday, Livingston Parish Schools posted a statement from St. Pierre. In the statement, the principal said he had apologized to the family and would reinstate Timonet’s position on SGA and endorse her for the scholarship.
“Finally, 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,” the statement said.
Read the full statement below.
Good afternoon WHS Family,
I believe it is necessary to respond to the public attention that has resulted from my actions regarding Kaylee Timonet’s participation in a dance party that was sponsored at an off-site location following WHS Homecoming.
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.
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. Our student government members are held to a high standard of student behavior. While I stand by that premise, I do believe that standard deserves the input of not just myself and top administrators, but also those student leaders. I hope to create a path moving forward where we can work together to create clear expectations for all.
I will be reinstating my scholarship endorsement for Kaylee. At Walker High, we strive to place our students first in every decision so they may be prepared for whatever career path they may aspire to take, and I believe my action will assist in doing that.
Finally, 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.
As principal of Walker High School, I am faced daily with many difficult decisions for the interest of our students and employees that are never taken lightly. Please know that I always strive to place our students first in every decision. It is for that reason that I have taken this corrective action.
As we move forward, I ask for your continued support of Walker High School, our amazing teachers, and our outstanding students.
Thank you,Jason St. Pierre, Principal of Walker High School