Jason St. Pierre of Walker High School in Walker, Louisiana, has stepped on a First Amendment landmine when he questioned a student’s religion.
A videotape of the 17-year-old student government candidate and scholarship winner dancing was taken at a party off-campus following Walker High School’s Homecoming celebrations on September 30th. The video was taken by a hired DJ and shared on social media. Jason St. Pierre told the student three days later that she was being removed from the Student Government Association and would not be recommended for a college scholarship.
According to The Advocate, St. Pierre informed the student that she was not “living the Lord’s Way” during a meeting with the assistant principal in his office. St. Pierre printed Bible verses highlighted sections, and asked her who her friends were and whether they followed the Lord.
This high school principal clearly hasn’t seen Footloose.
Parents are increasingly aggressive in confronting school boards that push this nonsense, and they are achieving some unexpected political successes.
A high school principal punishing a student who has acted outside of school hours or off campus is equally objectionable. Especially when that action was… dancing.
It is up to her parents whether or not she should have danced in that off-campus venue. Not the teacher.
Fortunately, Mr. St. Pierre quickly backtracked.
St. Pierre changed his mind in a Facebook post published on Sunday. The principal apologized for his earlier disciplinary actions and undid them, citing the public’s attention and the time he had to think about it. He also addressed the issue of his religious invocation.
St. Pierre wrote: “Finally during my conversation with the student regarding the dance, we both brought up the subject of religion.” While the conversation was intended with the best of intentions, it’s not my job to decide what religious beliefs students or others may have. That’s their responsibility.
St. Pierre, according to the student and her mom, brought up religion in their conversation. The Advocate reported that the mother and daughter also stated that her scholarship application deadline was Oct. 3. They questioned if St. Pierre had been able to reinstate his scholarship endorsement earlier.
It was at least a poor example of judgment from a school official who is funded by the government. Parents, not schools, are responsible for a child’s upbringing in religion. The same is true for anything related to the LGBTQ+ agenda or “green” activism. Schools teach facts; parents teach morality. This is true for all groups.
The school (again public) has no business with the religious beliefs of this student. Her dancing at an off-campus, apparently legal venue after school hours is also not the school’s business.
One would assume that, given the lack of other apparent lapses of good judgment, Mr. La Pierre would be able, after his leave of absence to presumably think things through, to return to his position. We can only hope that he will continue to show good judgment.
This seems appropriate: