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Teen’s clever yearbook quote could get her banned from graduation

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quote-2CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. (WITI) — A Georgia high school senior could be banned from her graduation because of her yearbook quote, according to WSB-TV.

Paris Gray is the senior class vice president, a member of SADD and Beta Club, and a leader on campus. However, she may be banned from walking during her graduation ceremony.

Inside the yearbook, the message read:

“When the going gets tough, just remember to Barium Carbon Potassium Thorium Astatine Arsenic Sulfer(sic) Utranium(sic) Phospheros(sic).”

Gray received an in-school suspension, was kept from participating in a senior walk event, and may be banned from graduation after administrators spelled out the periodic elements from her quote.


Gray was also slated to give a graduation ceremony speech, but that has been cancelled.

“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,” said Gray

A spokesperson for the school district says no final decision has been made.


  • Scott Groth

    I think she has a case against them. First of all, we still have free speech in this country. Second, it’s not like she just blurted what she meant right out there, takes some intelligence to figure out. I say if she has all the credits and requirements to graduate, get out of her way and let her.

  • Belinda Joy

    Boy that was a really immature quote to post in her year book…..hold it…. she is child, what was I thinking! :-) Duh, she should get a break IMO, I found it clever.

  • Matthew

    remind me again which political ideology is predominant throughout school systems in this country? And please, remind me again how that seems to be working out for the future generations of kids in this country? What am intelligent, well thought out quote, so lets bash her hard work and dreams because some little whiny liberal got his or her panties in a bunch because that will make a difference.

  • Deb

    And where was the faculty advisor to the yearbook to oversee what was being submitted for publication?

    • tressa

      My thoughts EXACTLY!!! This quote was taken, REVIEWED, Re-typed into FORMAT AND SENT TO A PROOF READER, and if that person was confused about what it STOOD for ASK THE SCIENCE TEACHER, SINCE IT COULD HAVE BEEN A RECIPE FOR MAKING A BOMB OR METH FOR ALL THEY KNEW (I mean they MUST have since it is all scrutinized NOW, right? ) then PRINTED AND GIVEN TO THE ENTIRE SCHOOL. Now NOW YOU WANT TO PUNISH HER?????? SERIOUSLY, WHERE ARE THESE COMPLAINERS when it came time to VOLUME THEIR OPINION and PROOF on the Yearbook Committee???
      Probably writing useless let’s to the editors of all the other publications they read and just ran into the SEVEN STEPS TO LATE!!!
      YES let’s take everything away from her NOW for something she probably turned in 3 OR 4 MONTHS AGO. These people are the real “Arsenic Sulfer(sic)”es! I’m sorry Paris, I truly hope you sleep better at night the these Jerks do!

  • Jenny

    She had to be intelligent enough to know the symbols for those periodic elements. Sadly 3/4 of her class probably has no clue what this even says. Let her be and let her graduate. She didn’t just spell it out. It was a clever thought up statement.

  • Milwaukee Mike

    Clever, but was it she or the yearbook editor who misspelled the last three elements?

  • Christina

    Really??? Really??? It was clever. What’s more impressive is that she spelled everyone of those words correctly and most likely knew what they were. Your going to punish her for having brains and a sense of humor!?!?!? Stupid schools breed stupid children….you should be grateful at least one of them escaped your ignorant grasp.

  • Stupid Flanders

    “When the going gets tough just remember to: BACK THAT *** UP”

    That means to stick your rear end out in a suggestive manner. So that’s what you should do when ‘the going gets tough’? That makes absolutely no sense. She’s not clever – she’s an idiot.

  • Annie Steele

    It does’nt have to mean to stick the rear in out, she could mean to not give up and start over! I still think she’s clever!

  • Corkeyk

    Really..This is why our country is going down the tube with future leaders doing silly little puns like this for others to view as “respectable”. If you want be seen as a leader and be respected, earn the respect and walk the walk..

  • Jebanvil

    So apparently no one at her schools been paying attention. She not the first and not even this year. So in that case I say if they aren’t smart enough to catch a repeated prank then good for her. Dumb move, but kids make dumb moves.

  • rose

    I thought it was very smart of her. What is wrong with “back that up anyway”? It is not offensive in the least. That school is dumb, that student is smarter. Kudos to her.

  • Richard

    Personally, I’d like to know how long it took the school staff to figure it out? Probably a heck of a lot longer than it did to over-react to it!!!

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