A Louisiana senior student leader was stripped of her title and scholarship application assistance by her school after a video clip showing her dancing at a private party went viral.
An Afterparty Gone Wrong
According to a news story published by The Guardian, Kaylee Timonet, formerly the student president at Walker High School, faced major consequences after a video of her dancing behind her twerking friend in a homecoming afterparty surfaced.
Her Leadership Role Was Stripped Off
Following the incident, the school’s principal confirmed that the student leader would lose her apex role in student government, alongside all the privileges accompanying such leadership ranks.
Timonet had her prestigious position revoked by the principal, and all assistance in her scholarship applications was withdrawn.
Fellow Students Disagree
However, the decision made by the school’s administration wasn’t without opposition, as a group of Timonet’s fellow students felt the punishment wasn’t necessary.
‘Let the Girl Dance’
The controversy surrounding her actions at the event, which the 17-year-old attended with her mom, sparked outrage and quickly became a subject of discussion within the students’ leadership body, with most of her peers expressing solidarity on social media by reposting banners saying, “Let the Girl Dance.”
Principal’s Decision Sparks Outrage
Walker High School’s decision to strip Timonet of all the benefits she has worked for over the years based on her dance was also condemned by some parents, who viewed the punishment as a bad idea since the event was private and not associated with the school in any way. Many believe she was judged unfairly.
A Private Party
“Please remember that this was a private venue rented by her mother for a party after the homecoming dance. This was a private party for Kaylee and her friends.
“The party was not school-affiliated in any way. Kaylee’s mother was in attendance the entire time,” Natalie Bird, one of Timonet’s strong supporters, clarified in a Facebook post.
Too Much of a Consequence?
“The whole situation is literally so simple with great consequences that she did not deserve,” she added, expressing her disappointment at how the student was treated after the viral video.
“Our influence and leadership have been top-notch. Don’t let this get in the way of your dreams. Continue to shine bright.”
Punished for not Following God’s Ideals
“They basically told me that I should be ashamed of myself,” Timonet said in an interview with a local media outlet, adding that she was accused of not following God’s ideals.
Her Faith Was Questioned
Timonet told the outlet that she was called into the principal’s office and made to watch the video clip that showed her dancing during the event hosted at Livingston Parish Country Club.
The principal said he would not endorse her for a scholarship, questioning her faith.
She’s Working For Her Future
“I just started crying hysterically,” Timonet said.
“I was really, really upset because student government is the best thing that happened to me during high school.”
Her Mom Keeps It Real
Kayleen’s mom, Rachel Timonet, was disappointed by the school’s punitive action, adding the student body paid for the venue and the DJ’s performance for students to have fun.
“She should not be questioned or spoken about faith at all. It’s a public school, not a private school.”
A Change of Mind?
Following public outrage, the school’s principal apologized to the student and her family, walked back the punishment, and reinstated her to the top leadership position in the student government.
“Finally, during my conversation with [the student] regarding the dance party, the subject of religious beliefs was broached by [the student] and myself,” St Pierre wrote in a statement published on the Livingston Parish Public Schools district Facebook page.
A Realization Too Late
“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.”
Principal Goes on Leave
The district’s officials confirmed the principal had requested leave for the remaining part of the school year.
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This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.