Skip Nav
Family Travel
25 Shockingly Easy Ways For Families to Save Money on Disney Trips
Food and Activities
May the Force Be With Your Kids' Birthday Cakes
16 Fall Maternity Essentials For Expecting Moms (That Are Actually Cute)

Student's Yearbook Quote Causes Controversy

Student's Senior Quote Could Keep Her From Graduating

When Paris Gray submitted her senior quote for her school's yearbook, she probably thought she would get some confused looks and a few laughs from her peers. Instead, the class vice-president and Beta Club member's wise words may keep her from walking at graduation. The following message, which was approved by the student and faculty on the yearbook staff, appeared alongside Gray's photo:

"When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus."

At first glance, Gray's quote seems harmless and even a bit nerdy. When broken down by the elements' symbols, however, the quote reads, "when the going gets tough just remember to back that *ss up." School officials are upset over the quote's use of profanity and its hidden message. Gray, however, says there is no inappropriate meaning to her quote.

"Basically, it was me just saying start all over again," she tells a local news station. Gray was slated to speak at the ceremony next week, but the faculty removed her from the lineup. As for whether or not she will be allowed to walk with her peers, school officials say they will make a decision once the superintendent and principal meet with Gray's mother.

What do you think the school should do? Weigh in through our poll and in the comment section!

Source: ABC News

Join The Conversation
Kathy14870068 Kathy14870068 3 years

I didn't either. LOL! Good one, Niktom! I was too taken with trying to figure out what the combination of the elements, when put this way, meant.

cheryl3412 cheryl3412 3 years

This is ridiculous. Did she meet the requirements for graduation? If so, she should graduate. The quote shouldn't have anything to do with it!

wgenua wgenua 3 years

lol didn't even catch it.

AlmaHarshe AlmaHarshe 3 years

Thank you so much for defending her. Maybe they should give her something for being so brilliant.

AlmaHarshe AlmaHarshe 3 years

I am sorry, she stated her opinion, and if someone had not had too much time on their hands to take this and do the research it would not have looked bad at all. Instead the school is saying we have a dumb individual here and so is all of the people who allowed it in the yearbook. Are they going to get the same punishment. what is fair for the goose is fair for the gander. People wake up and find something better to do with your time. What is wrong with the person who chose to spend the time defining the quote, can you prove above all shadow of a doubt that is what she was saying? Good luck.

CatherineMoore87700 CatherineMoore87700 3 years

Don't punish the editor, who is just a student and volunteer staff is ultimately responsible for reviewing the book prior to print. The spelling errors are surprising. Still, she's right. Too many folks out there with fancy letters behind their names, titles, and egos to match, but no brains.

JulieRobinson89277 JulieRobinson89277 3 years

aww, she was not the perfect little clone they are all hoping for? (mis-spellings aside). So sick of the continued oppression on individuality - one big police state.

AmandaS24396 AmandaS24396 3 years

I have seen worse. Don't know what they big deal is teens swear all time. Nothing wrong with her quote except the spelling.

TiffanyValls TiffanyValls 3 years

actually, in my experience, the quotes are given verbally. The blame lies on the yearbook committee.

mnwatson1 mnwatson1 3 years

While I don't think that the quote was necessarily "appropriate," I don't think they should stop her from speaking or walking at graduation because of it.

Incidentally, the words spelled wrong are NOT the responsibility of the yearbook editor or sponsor, as they were part of a quote. When you quote something, you always quote it verbatim, meaning nothing is changed, even if there are mistakes in spelling or grammar. Also, if you're just graduating high school and paid attention in any of your science classes, you should already have at least enough of a knowledge of the periodic table, its elements, and their symbols to be able to "decode" at least the majority of the message. So no, people wouldn't have to be "bored enough to want to look that up in the first place," to figure out what it said. Anyone with a good high school education should be able to with minimal thought on their part. Especially since the majority (though not all) of the elements listed are symbolized by either the first or first two letters of their name. Pretty basic.

DeannaTate DeannaTate 3 years

Just more proof that they don't want kids thinking for themselves for fear they'll take over! Let the kid walk!!!

mgoodson mgoodson 3 years

Oh jeez. The quote isn't even bad! This story is so ridiculous to me.

Nikki Reed Month of Silence Postbirth
Half-Day Vs. Full-Day Kindergarten
Things That Will Definitely Happen at a Latino Wedding
Things That Happen at Latino Birthday Parties
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds