Louisiana Student With 4.0 GPA Stripped Of Scholarship Over Dancing
Problems are brewing in the Livingston Parish School system. That's where a model student has recently been punished for an event that took place off school grounds.
Walker High School student Kaylee Timonet is a model student. She carries a 4.0 grade point average, is the student government president, plans to graduate early, is Beta Club president, and has been racking up scholarships. However, a few of those things are no longer true.
Timonet has informed by Walker High School President Jason St. Pierre pulled Timonet into his office, berated her, and stripped her of her student government position. He then informed her that she was being stripped of a major scholarship as well. All because he didn't personally like a video posted to social media.
St. Pierre was triggered by a video posted online by a DJ that had been hired by Timonet's mother, Rachel, for a private party after Walker High School's Homecoming. An event that Rachel has been hosting for years. This event was a private event, held at the Livingston Parish Country Club, and completely paid for by those involved, and had zero attachment to the school. Giving the principal no jurisdiction over the event.
But that didn't stop Principal Jason St. Pierre from lashing out at the 17-year-old over the event.
His temper tantrum was brought on by the dancing he saw in the video. Dancing that Timonet's mother describes as "harmless". Something that is backed up by other witnesses, including the DJ who posted it online. The DJ told reporters from UWK:
“I have been a DJ for over 10 years, and how those kids were dancing, was not bad. I have seen much worse. It was genuinely kids having fun"
Kaylee and Rachel Timonet spoke with reporters about the situation...
In the interview, its made clear that Kaylee was pulled into Principal St. Pierre's office for this "discipline" without her mother being informed, or present. He came after the teenager for a private event, held off school grounds, without her mother even being informed.
Rachel called the principal as soon as Kaylee got home, and informed her mother of the troubling events.
Perhaps the biggest problem for St. Pierre, Walker High School, and the Livingston Parish School Board is the reason St. Pierre gave for his outburst. Religion.
Kaylee said that St. Pierre went off about christianity while taking away her achievements. Going as far was printing out bible verses, and highlighting parts, that he gave to Kaylee while stripping her of her position and scholarship. Something that, as The Advocate points out, has struck a major nerve with online readers. Some of the comments they highlight include:
"It's supposed to be a PUBLIC school how are they gonna throw religion in this,"
"Just because a majority of the community is Christian doesn't mean that's acceptable. WHS is a public school!"
As another Louisiana school system recently learned, this behavior can have serious legal consequences. The Bossier Parish School system remains under a consent decree put forward by the US District Court of Western Louisiana. The Americans United for the Separation of Church and State declared victory in the case back in 2019 when the 12-year decree was put into place.
During that court battle, the Bossier Parish School Board acknowledged that their actions and polices violated the United State's Constitution.
The events that led to the victory in court for Americans United over Bossier Parish Schools seems small compared to what the Timonet's have described at Walker High School. If it's true that a public school principal not only attacked a student over a private event, but stripped them of their achievements, and handed them bible quotes while doing it, a court could decide this case much faster than the Bossier case.
Multiple reports on this case have indicated that they've reached out to Livingston school representatives for comments, but none of those reports have received any responses.
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