May 20, 2014

Georgia teen punished for hidden message in yearbook quote

A Georgia high school student is waiting to find out if she can walk at her graduation ceremony because of the quote she added to the yearbook.

According to ABC affiliate WSB-TV, Paris Gray received an in-school suspension after the books were distributed at the school in Clayton County, south of Atlanta.
The quote reads, “When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus.”
School administrators learned Friday that by using the abbreviations for the elements from the periodic table, the quote spelled, “To back that a#$ up."
Gray told the news station the message wasn't flagged by any editors or adults.
"I think their reaction was beyond what it should have been because nobody understood it," she explained. 
"Basically, it was me just saying start all over again. You have to go back and start all over."

Her mother, Zarinah Woods, said, "My first reaction was 'you are such a nerd.'"
Gray wasn’t allowed to participate in her senior walk last Friday. WSB-TV reports she was expected to give the inspirational speech at her graduation ceremony, but she says an assistant principal told her she couldn't. 
Gray is a leader on campus, the senior class vice president and a member of both SADD and the Beta Club. 
She says the news "just completely destroyed" her, adding, "And my mom's been telling me don't let it ruin my happiness, but it's like, really taking a big toll."
After speaking to the news station about the incident, the school principal called and spoke with Gray and her mother. 
According to WSB-TV, a school district spokesperson says that no decision has been made and the area superintendent, the school principal and Gray's mother would meet Tuesday morning.