High school student Paris Gray was all ready to graduate and then go onto Nashville’s Tennessee State University this fall. But then teachers at her school figured out the meaning behind a secret message she had embedded in her yearbook quote and suddenly all bets were off.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the choice bus combines both a normal school bus and a jail bus in order to show high school students what it may mean for their future if they drop out.
The secret message that Miss Gray inserted into the yearbook required that you know a little bit of science, specifically the periodic table. This is how the quote went:
“When the going gets tough, just remember to Barium Carbon Potassium Thorium Astatine Arsenic Sulfur Utranium Phospheros.”
None of the yearbook editors or staff at the school flagged the quote as being offensive, although they did manage to misspell some of the listed elements. Eventually, the school administrators did figure out the message and they were not amused. They gave Gray an in-school suspension, forced her to miss her senior walk, and they were also discussing denying her the graduation speech at the graduation ceremony.
Receiving such a large punishment for a joke left Gray feeling devastated:
“It just completely destroyed me, and my mom’s been telling me don’t let it ruin my happiness but it’s like really taking a big toll.”
So what did the yearbook’s secret message say? If you convert all of the elements over to their symbols, you’ll see that her message read as “remember to Ba C K Th At As S U P.” Paris, who is senior class vice president, a member of SADD and the Beta Club, explained the meaning behind the joke:
“I think their reaction was beyond what it should have been because nobody understood it. Basically, it was me just saying start all over again. You have to go back and start all over.”
Gray’s mother laughed the joke off, saying she was “such a nerd,” and feels the school overreacted. The mother and daughter sat down with the school and they were able to work it out. Charles White, the coordinator for communications at Clayton County Schools, claims it was all “a miscommunication between the student, her parents and administration” and has given permission for Gray to giver her graduation speech.
When Gray was asked what she had learned from this misadventure this is how she responded:
“Well, what I have learned was never give up, strive for what I wanted and be more careful next time in the future.”
She also was mysterious when it came to the topic of her graduation speech and says everyone will have to come to find out.
Do you think the school overreacted to the hidden message in the yearbook?