4.0 student’s scholarship stripped over a homecoming after-party dance

Kaylee Timonet: “I felt like my life was over. Everything I worked for since I was little, always worked really hard at school. Being student of the year, at least having a chance at it, has always been my main goal. I’m starting college this January. I’m done in December so it was a shock.”

WALKER — Kaylee Timonet was stripped of her title as the Walker High School student government president and her endorsement for a scholarship was retracted after a video surfaced on social media of her dancing at a homecoming after-party. The video in question shows Timonet, 17, dancing behind a friend “twerking” at a private party where Timonet’s mother was present on Sept 30, 2023.

Timonet is senior and beloved by the student body at Walker High School, according to numerous students who spoke to UWK on the basis of anonymity. She has a 4.0 grade point average and represents the school in numerous clubs. Prior to the video being released, Timonet was the student government association’s president. That role has since been stripped. She remains the Beta Club president. The teen tutors kids and was just awarded outstanding volunteer in the Baton Rouge area.

Kaylee Timonet

The after homecoming party took place at at Livingston Parish Country Club.

“It’s a private venue. Everybody who was invited put up money to pay for the venue, to pay for the DJ. We’ve done this pretty much every year since my son has been in middle school,” said Kaylee’s mother Rachel Timonet, who was present at the party. “I saw her with my own eyes doing specifically what was on the video. I mean she’s been a dancer since before she’s two years old. I mean that is what I had the venue for, for kids to come, dance and have fun. So as far as how people dance or what somebody determines is inappropriate dancing, I mean to me, they were just having fun. There was nothing inappropriate to me.”

Timonet says there was no alcohol served at the premises. Rachel tells Unfiltered With Kiran that she watched the video of her daughter dancing before the hired DJ posted the video on social media.

“I didn’t see anything wrong with what my daughter was doing in the video,” says Timonet. “My child was not representing the school in any way, shape or form at the party.”

UWK is choosing not to post the video in question as the original video has now been removed off of social media. It shows Kaylee dancing behind another girl who was “twerking,” but several others in the quick video were doing the same thing as Kaylee.

The DJ for the evening, DJ Savage, reached out to 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,” he said.

Kaylee Timonet called in by principal

On Tuesday, Oct. 4 around 7:30am, Kaylee says she was called into the front office with the principal and assistant principal but she did not think anything of it since she is in student government and gets called in often. Once there though, she said she was blindsided as she was stripped of her title as the student government association (SGA) president and the principal was no longer endorsing her for a school scholarship.

“They basically told me I was kicked off of student government because of a video that was sent in. I just started crying hysterically. I was really, really upset because student government is the best thing that happened to me during high school. They basically told me I should be ashamed of myself and that they were concerned about my afterlife if I wasn’t following basically God’s ideals, which made me cry even more,” Kaylee told UWK.

Kaylee explained Walker High’s Principal Jason St. Pierre made her watch the video despite her telling him she did not want to watch it because she had already seen it.

“I had already seen the video and genuinely I did not think anything of it. I’ve been a dancer my entire life and I just really like to have fun,” she said. “”I felt like my life was over. Everything I worked for since I was little, always worked really hard at school. Being student of the year, at least having a chance at it, has always been my main goal. I work very hard in class. I stress myself out over everything and I’m also Beta president so there’s a lot of things on my plate that I could lose. I’m starting college this January. I’m done in December so it was a shock.”

While in the impromptu meeting, Kaylee said St. Pierre notified her that he was withdrawing her application for the school scholarship that goes to only two students.

“All I was doing was having innocent fun. I was mortified,” Kaylee said. “So when it felt like everything was thrown in the trash no matter all the things I had accomplished because of this video of me dancing, I felt like a failure. I really felt like I failed.”

Mother meets with Walker High Principal

Meanwhile, her mother tells UWK she is not only aggravated, but disappointed that she was not a part of the meeting Tuesday given her daughter is a 17-yr-old minor. She added the issue at hand did not have anything to do with Walker High School and that’s even more reason she or a counselor should have been able to be present.

According to Timonet, the principal told Kaylee that her actions went against the Bible, and questioned her faith. She added that the assistant principal told Kaylee that she needed to make better choices and have better friends.

The next morning, Timonet had a meeting with the principal, and she said that he mentioned he printed out Bible verses to show Kaylee Timonet. The principal told the mother that he believed his actions were appropriate.

“I told him at the pep rally that the dancing they do at their competition is way worse than what Kaylee was doing,” Timonet added. “If you are going to be unfair to my child, they had other people dancing in that video also that are on the dance team that nothing happened to. He (principal) said she was punished because she is the ‘hood-ornament’ of the school.”

“I couldn’t believe they could do something like that to a kid, a kid with a 4.2 average and Beta Club,” said the mother. “Being that the separation of church and state and that they don’t know what my faith and my beliefs are as a family and that is not for anybody to do other than my family. Also questioning her and demanding an answer if her friends follow the Lord and she’s answering, ‘I don’t know,’ she should not be questioned or spoken (to) about faith at all. It’s a public school, not a private school. He has no right to discuss any sort of religion with my child.”

The Walker High School student handbook is silent on punishment related to dancing at a party after school hours. Discipline of this nature is not discussed in the student handbook. There are questions as to whether Timonet was afforded appropriate due process.

Kaylee Timonet

Community’s Support for Kaylee Timonet

The teen told UWK she was distraught by the news and had to leave school after crying so much. Her mother said Kaylee was nervous to go to school because she works in the front office, which puts her in an “uncomfortable position.”

Community members stepped up after hearing about Timonet’s story. There are t-shirts for sale with the logo “Let the Girl Dance” and “I Stand with Kaylee Timonet,” indicating that they support Timonet, and disapprove of the principal’s decision. The logo has also taken over numerous social media profile pictures to show solidarity in support of Timonet, numerous students said. The community’s support is what Kaylee says not only helped, but is continuing to get her through it all.

“Having this community that supported me helped me go back to school the next day and then having some of my friends that made these buttons and passed them out to everyone, it made me visually see everyone that supports me and it made me feel like not everything was thrown in the trash because I was so worried that people are now going to have this negative image of me basically because of me being a teenager,” she said. “The video was not inappropriate whatsoever. I was just so afraid that people were going to hate me after that so seeing that people were supporting me no matter what and seeing that my accomplishments were still noticed means the world.”

DJ Savage said that Kaylee and her parents deserve an apology from the Walker High School administration, especially because of all that she has accomplished.

UWK reached out to Walker High’s Principal Jason St. Pierre and Livingston Parish School Superintendent Joe Murphy for responses to this report. As of this report, neither have responded.

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on any new developments.

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