Graduate’s decoded yearbook message could ban her from ceremony

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia high school student’s senior portrait yearbook quote might cost her a chance to walk at her own graduation this year.

According to WSB-TV, Paris Gray is an active member of her school; she is senior class vice president, a member of her school’s Beta Club and of SADD, and is also a leader on campus.

Gray was even set to make an inspirational speech at her graduation ceremony this year, but after her school’s yearbooks were distributed she received an in-school suspension and was barred from participating in her school’s senior walk. All of this because of a message she had printed on its pages next to her senior portrait.

When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus,” the message read.

WSB-TV reported the message made its way past the yearbook’s editors and several adults, but after it was printed, its true meaning was discovered by administrators, who used the periodic table to decode it. When spelling out the periodic table’s shorthand of the elements, it spells out “to back that a** up.”

“Basically, it was me just saying start all over again,” said Gray about the message’s meaning. “You have to go back and start all over.”

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  • Betsy Wactor- Mathews

    Why wasn’t it questioned before the yearbook was printed? I think the editors knew and didn’t care. Why make a big deal about it now? Some “adult” was in charge of that yearbook. I would have read every page if I were responsible for it. Wouldn’t you? Someone in authority approved it so let it go.

    • Squeaky Wheeler

      Honestly, I don’t think the adult editorial staff knew what she wrote. I have a fairly high IQ and I know the elements. Just reading it through, I don’t know that I would have given the statement a second thought.

  • Lance Link

    Schools. Look up the definition and you will see it states the administrators of most schools inject more drama into a day than your average 13 y.o. female does….

    • Dawn

      Regardless of what the school should or should not have done as far as printing the book, this senior is old enough to know bette. Be appropriate or face a consequence. If you want to walk the line of inappropriateness, do it; but don’t whine when someone calls you on it and you have to face the music.

      • Leslie

        Dawn as a certified Para educator I agree with you 100%. The problem with the kids in the US today is everyone thinks it should be someone else fault other than the student that did it. That is also the reason we have two prisons to every school in the US!

      • itssmee

        It doesn’t matter. The girl should walk.! Like everyone is saying somebody should have proof read the yearbook pages as someone is supposed to.! Your dumb and ignorant for even saying something like that. I guarantee if that was your daughter you would be saying the same thing. This is ridiculous.

  • patty

    I say let that girl walk. I’m sure if school administrators look a what kids write to each other in their yearbooks is much more vulgar and inappropriate that what she did. I think administration is upset, because she is smarter than they are. It’s HER picture with HER message to go along with it. Get over it and let that child walk with her class!

  • A

    I think it’s awesome !!! It’s high school make memories , I wish I would have thought of something clever like that to out as my quote !!! Let the girl walk ! No one knows that that says unless they look it up and even tho that’s what it says who CARES!!!! If I was a parent and I read that I’d prob be like hu ? Well to each there own it means something to her

  • Ann

    Since when is the word a** that offensive anymore? Loosen your undies and let the girl participate and get over yourself, administrators. Focus on teaching rather than censorship.

  • Medley

    I see both sides. On one hand she did not follow school rules and she has to have consequences or too many kids would do the same. HOWEVER, tjey caught it too late which was not smart on their part and since she is graduating this is their last chance to punish her. The punishment does NOT fit the crime. Shame on them!

  • Terry Roberts

    Schools teach kids to think and to react. So when they do speak out then they are condemned and some of their most cherished memories are never have beens because of over zealous school administrators. They think they are drill sargeants and they so believe in the constitution and bill of rights. So where did freedom of speech go in all of this?

  • Sandy R.

    Everyone there needs to grow up. Make her admit to and explain why she did it and why she should not have in her speech on graduation day. She is responsible for her actions and this is a “welcome to adulthood” that none of she or her fellow students will forget. Pranks are a right of passage for kids, you don’t automatically become an adult when you graduate. She still has plenty of stupid mistakes or ill advised actions to take and make before she will consider herself to be an adult. If you never did anything stupid or ill advised while you were growing up or even to this date then you are a saint and wasting time on the rest of us mere mortal stooges. And if a** is the worst she has to say count yourself lucky, I rather see or hear it than the f word any day! Kick a** girl and don’t let prudes who have probably committed much worse acts spoil your day.

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