Yearbook quote issue resolved for Georgia senior bound for TSU - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Yearbook quote issue resolved for Georgia senior bound for TSU

Posted: Updated: May 20, 2014 09:22 PM
High school senior Paris Gray thought she might have her chance to walk at graduation taken away after the quote she put in the yearbook. (Courtesy: WSB-TV) High school senior Paris Gray thought she might have her chance to walk at graduation taken away after the quote she put in the yearbook. (Courtesy: WSB-TV)
Administrators learned Gray's quote using elements spelled out "To back that a@% up" when using their abbreviations. (Courtesy: WSB-TV) Administrators learned Gray's quote using elements spelled out "To back that a@% up" when using their abbreviations. (Courtesy: WSB-TV)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For a while this week, Paris Gray, who plans to attend Nashville’s Tennessee State University in the fall, thought she might not be able to give a speech at her Clayton County, Georgia high school graduation.

The 17-year-old was apparently told by someone at Mundy’s Mill High School that a yearbook quote could keep her from giving the planned graduation speech next week.

There had even been reports that Gray had been suspended and might not even get to walk at her graduation.

The yearbook quote was all about chemistry, the kind found in the Period Table of Elements.

The quote said exactly this: “When the going gets tough, just remember to Barium Carbon Potassium Thorium Astatine Arsenic Sulfer Utranium Phospheros.”

Forget the yearbook's misspellings of the last three words; the symbols for the elements spell out: “Ba C K Th At As S U P,” which can be interpreted as “back that a$* up.”

Gray, however, was not disciplined as once thought. Charles White, the coordinator for communications at Clayton County Schools, told News 2 it was all “a miscommunication between the student, her parents and the administration.”

White said the matter was resolved Tuesday after a meeting between those involved.

“She will be able to give her graduation speech,” added White.

In an interview with Atlanta’s WSB-TV, Gray was asked what she has learned from all of this.

“Well, what I have learned was never give up, strive for what I wanted and be more careful next time in the future,” she said.

And what about her graduation speech topic now?

“You are just going to have to come to graduation to find out,” Gray said with a smile.


Previously Reported:


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.

WSB-TV first reported 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 Sulfer Utranium Phospheros.”

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 and was told by an
assistant principal she wouldn't be allowed to speak at graduation as scheduled.

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.

A district spokesperson told WSB-TV that no decision has been made and the area superintendent, the school principal and Gray's mother would meet Tuesday morning.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WEATHER: Waterspout Spotted Off the Coast of Tybee Island

    WEATHER: Waterspout Spotted Off the Coast of Tybee Island

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:51:17 GMT
    The National Weather Service confirms that a water spout was spotted off the coast of Tybee Island on Friday morning. The Chatham Count Emergency Management agency says the island did activate its outdoor warning system and cleared the beach.At this time, weather reports do not indicated the waterspout will make landfall, but it is recommended to avoid the beach until the storm has passed.
    The National Weather Service confirms that a water spout was spotted off the coast of Tybee Island on Friday morning. The Chatham Count Emergency Management agency says the island did activate its outdoor warning system and cleared the beach.At this time, weather reports do not indicated the waterspout will make landfall, but it is recommended to avoid the beach until the storm has passed.
  • Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:48:04 GMT
    Facebook image from Dan FlynnFacebook image from Dan Flynn
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
  • Bikini-clad mom of 5 writes viral letter to bullies who mocked her stretch marks

    Bikini-clad mom of 5 writes viral letter to bullies who mocked her stretch marks

    Friday, August 1 2014 4:17 PM EDT2014-08-01 20:17:45 GMT
    Tanis Jex-Blake Facebook page photoTanis Jex-Blake Facebook page photo
    A mother of five who was mocked for her stretch marks while sunbathing at the beach has written an open letter to the trio who bullied her. That letter has now gone viral with more than a million likes and 218,000 shares.
    A mother of five who was mocked for her stretch marks while sunbathing at the beach has written an open letter to the trio who bullied her. That letter has now gone viral with more than a million likes and 218,000 shares.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.