Why this yearbook quote could get honor student banned from graduation

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A high school senior in Georgia could be banned from graduation after the fallout following her quote that appeared in the yearbook, according to WSB-TV.

Paris Gray is the senior class vice president, a member of SADD and the Beta Club, and a leader on campus. However, she could be kept from walking at graduation next week, according to the report.

Gray received in-school suspension and was kept from a senior walk event last week after yearbooks were distributed to students.

Inside the yearbook was Gray’s quote. The message read:

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

Yearbook Quote

However, it’s the abbreviation for those elements that got her in trouble.

Yearbook Quote 02

“I think their reaction was beyond what it should have been because nobody understood it,” Gray told WSB-TV. Gray said the message was not flagged by editors.

Gray was told her planned graduation ceremony speech has been canceled. A school district spokesperson says that no final decision has been made.


  • sirronvee

    Again this is political correctness run a muck. I think it’s pretty clever. I never would have noticed it. I just wish she knew some other chemistry symbols to tell that over zealous system to kiss her __ss.

    • Mark

      This isn’t actually political correctness, it’s decorum. In this case would people have been fine with it if she had written the words out? Either answer of “yes” or “no” has nothing to do with political correctness, but, instead, one’s concept of what yearbook decorum should be.

      Political correctness would be punishing everyone else for it, but letting her get away with it because she is black. That’s just an example, not what is/should happen

      • Mark

        Also, the idea that “nobody understood” isn’t true as she got in trouble precisely because people understood what it meant. Gray is simply lashing out

      • Genevieve

        I think it’s ridiculous to react this way! Obviously this girl is well respected in her school and does not strike me as someone needing to get away with anything. Who approved it? They apparently didn’t see the connection. If no one had made such a big deal about it, it wouldn’t be an issue.
        More important things in our world need attention.

  • Louis Chatte

    This is pretty bad *ss and I, for, one am glad that she did it and I hope this goes viral to show how ignorant the administration was for not even checking.

  • Fore

    The element average number is 45 a metal named rhodium symbol Rh. Dig that out of all the Tables math

  • KB

    I think it’s pretty clever, and the school admin is overreacting to it.

    However, does it bother anyone else that this is an “honor” student who cannot spell the names of the elements correctly?

    • bkr0sen

      I have worked with some smart and otherwise accomplished people who had trouble with spelling. Bad spelling hinders communication, but many other hindrances are worse.

    • Ricky

      If i remember correctly, yearbook captions are usually written by members of the yearbook committee, usually other students. Ms. Gray probably spelled the elements right, it was just transferred wrong by whomever designed that particular page. Evidently that individual failed chemistry.

  • cohanseybob

    She only had to copy the words from a chart on the wall. She mess it up and spelled two wrong? These are your future leaders. A product of our failed school system.

  • Paula

    I am loosing all faith in the school systems. Leave this girl alone. She is an honor student and this was approved to go into the yearbook. Don’t punish the student. At least she got permission. I don’t necessarily approve of her statement , but it was pretty clever.

  • Lessy

    Whoever allowed it to be published in the first place deserves to be punished as well then if they are going to punish her; kinda ridiculous though to take away her ability to graduate and speak at the graduation, kind of harsh.

  • Lecia

    theres a limit on the number of characters you can use in your quote which is why a few are “misspelled” has nothing to do with her intelligence

    • Barry K Rosen

      Adding a “t” to “Uranium” is not caused by a character count limit. It is just a goof. Gray is a little weak in spelling, but she is smart and has a good sense of humor. The school’s reaction is preposterous.

  • sandy

    This is getting ridiculous. These schools are somethubg else. Let this girl graduate and speak like she was suppose to. I don’t see anything wrong witg it. Myy goodness. Let’s stop all this bull shit now.

  • Tough cookie

    That was very clever of gray!!! However she did not misspell the elements, the person who was rewriting her quote for the yearbook did. Ppl are so quick to find flaws in something minor. Everyone is guilty of misspelling a word or two……..

  • Jackstand Johnny

    Yeah let’s commend Her and make Her some kind of martyr because She found a clever way to advertise that She’s a slut. Should She be denied the privilege of walking across the stage? No. Is She an idiot for making Her quote that will be shown to Her children and grandchildren a confession that when life gets hard to take some cock? Yes, obsolutely.

    • sarah

      Excuse me. When did a consenting adult taking pleasure from sex after a bad day become “being a slut”? And then….what exactly is wrong with “being a slut”? It’s wrong for people to have sex? To want to have sex? To have sex with multiple people? If there are consenting adults involved, that aren’t you personally, then what could you possibly care what their sexual habits or desires are?
      Good god. And if the response to this is “but she’s probably not of age yet!!!” you missed the point, so don’t bother.

  • jeff ramsey

    I doubt that she mispelled Uranium being and honor student and all. Guessing it was the Yearbook editor.

    • Magenta

      I second that. In all the stuff that happened my senior year, I can’t begin to express how many times I submitted my name CORRECTLY for our yearbook and awards ceremonies, yet each and every time my name was misspelled. And it’s not even a hard to spell name, they just kept using an alternate spelling of my given and middle names.

      It’s very well possible whoever was in charge of their yearbook did the same as ours: have someone read the names off the paper while someone else types them up. There were a lot of mistakes that could’ve easily been avoided had they just read the forms for themselves.

  • Amy Kilby Myers

    she a clever girl, the teachers did their job. she out smarted them. their just pissed cause they miss it. we should all be so lucky to out smart our teachers. let her walk and get over your egos.

  • Someone

    For her to be banned from graduation is a little extreme. The school administration is probably full of people who probably didn’t even understand the joke at first. What does her yearbook quote have to do with anything in regards to her graduation? It just shows how the school administration is probably just bored and needed something to do that could make headlines. This is beyond ridiculous.

  • Kim

    Why the negativity? People are a trip. She can’t spell and she’s a slut, blah blah blah. You all are as dumb is the administrators in this case.

  • Magenta

    Getting slammed for being creative with your knowledge? School admins, you’re doing it wrong… clearly an extreme few would’ve even known what that was had you not brought it to public attention, and even then, there has been so much worse said than that.

    • Mark

      She wasn’t slammed for being creative, she was slammed for lacking decorum. There IS a difference

Comments are closed.