The principal of a public highschool in Louisiana who cited faith as justification for punishing a pupil after a video of her dancing circulated on social media has apologized and requested for a go away for the remainder of the college yr.
The principal of Walker Excessive College, Jason St. Pierre, prompted an outcry after he stripped Kaylee Timonet, 17, of her place as president of the college’s pupil authorities affiliation and rescinded a scholarship endorsement. The punishment was in response to a video of her dancing behind one other pupil at an off-campus social gathering after Homecoming.
Ms. Timonet mentioned in a video interview on the web site Unfiltered with Kiran that she was dancing behind a pal, “hyping her up.”
She mentioned that the principal, Mr. St. Pierre, and the assistant principal known as her into their workplace on Tuesday and advised her that she was stripped of her pupil authorities put up. She mentioned she “began crying hysterically.”
In the identical video interview, Ms. Timonet mentioned the college directors advised her that she ought to be ashamed of herself in addition to involved for her afterlife, as a result of she “wasn’t following God’s beliefs, which made me cry much more.”
Public outrage adopted, and on-line critics made comparisons to “Footloose,” a fictional film a couple of conservative small city the place dancing is against the law. Others posted below the hashtag “let the woman dance.”
In his apology, Mr. St. Pierre mentioned this week that members of the scholar authorities had been held to a excessive commonplace of habits. “Whereas I stand by that premise, I do imagine that commonplace deserves the enter of not simply myself and high directors, but in addition these pupil leaders,” Mr. St. Pierre added in a press release. “I hope to create a path transferring ahead the place we are able to work collectively to create clear expectations for all.”
Native information media has reported that for the reason that apology was posted on the college’s web site and app, Mr. St. Pierre requested a go away for the remainder of the college yr. Bruce Chaffin, the assistant superintendent of colleges for the college district, refused to touch upon Thursday. A number of members of the Livingston Parish College District, of which Walker Excessive College is a component, didn’t instantly return requests for remark.
Mr. St. Pierre mentioned he would reinstate Ms. Timonet as the scholar authorities president and restore his endorsement wanted for a Scholar Authorities Affiliation scholarship software for Ms. Timonet.
Ms. Timonet and her mom mentioned of their taped movies that the deadline to use for the scholarship had handed. Ms. Timonet’s mom, Rachel, mentioned in a self-taped video that she was current on the social gathering the place the dancing occurred and that “there was nothing inappropriate in any respect to me.”
“There are two issues I’ve all the time taught my children to not discuss: one is politics and one is faith,” she mentioned in a self-taped video additionally posted on Unfiltered with Kiran. Ms. Timonet and her mom weren’t instantly obtainable for remark.
In his apology, Mr. St. Pierre mentioned that he had “one of the best intentions” by invoking faith. “I do perceive it’s not my accountability to find out what college students’ or others’ non secular beliefs could also be,” he mentioned.
Jill Heinrich, a professor of training at Cornell Faculty in Iowa, mentioned that lecturers and principals at public faculties operate as an arm of the state. With that in thoughts, faith largely has no place in a public college, she mentioned, until it’s being studied in a secular method.
“You may discuss non secular occasions in historical past class,” Ms. Heinrich mentioned, however added that “there will be completely no advocacy.”