High School class VP was suspended over nerdy joke

Paris Gray thinks the school has overreacted to a quote that appeared in the school's yearbook

Prachi Gupta
May 20, 2014 11:25PM (UTC)

An upstanding, inspirational high school senior might not get to give a speech at her graduation ceremony as planned, thanks to a group of administrators at Mundy's Mill High School in Georgia, WSBTV reports.

Paris Gray, who serves as her class's vice president, has already been suspended and "kept from participating in the senior walk," over a chemistry joke that appears in the yearbook: "When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus."


At face value, that statement of course makes no sense, making a fairly obvious plea to consult the Periodic Table of Elements, which gives us this:

Gray is perhaps guilty for having a sense of nerdy sense of humor, but that's hardly a punishable offense. If anyone is to blame, it's the editors and administrators who failed to catch the offending quote before publication.


Still, Gray may face the consequences alone. "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," she said.

Gray might not get to graduate in style, but she's still got a bright future ahead of her. She will start at Tennessee State in the fall.


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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