Paris Gray appears to me to be a model student. She is the senior class vice president. She is involved with Students Against Drunk Driving and other organizations. She was scheduled to deliver an inspirational talk at her upcoming high school graduation. Now she’s in trouble because of a clever message she entered in her yearbook.
When the going gets tough, just remember to Barium Carbon Potassium Thorium Astatine Arsenic Sulfer [sic] Uranium Phospheros [sic].”
The periodic symbols for these elements spell out a message: BaCK ThAt AsS UP.
This phrase happens to be the title of some twerk verbal sewage which passes for musical entertainment these days. I’m not even sure the school administration went so far as to see that so-called song as a provocation or merely the phrase itself.
Even though the yearbook entry passed through the editorial process, the administration is now upset about her message. Paris has been uninvited to give that inspirational talk. She was given an in-school suspension and barred from participating in the senior walk. She worries that her graduation may be in jeopardy.
There is an abundance of numskull disciplinarians among school administrators. No item or pictorial rendition that may suggest something that could possibly be construed as a gun is permitted. Now language intended as worldly advice with a touch of humor is absurdly scrutinized.
Senior class vice-president in Georgia may be kept from graduation walk because of yearbook quote
Basically, it was me just saying start all over again.”
Paris’ joke is clever and nonthreatening. The school administration should take the advice and back their Arsenic Sulfur up.
For the history of an earlier chemistry inspired saying. From Wikip:
“Illegitimi non carborundum is a mock-Latin aphorism meaning “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. Carborundum, also known as silicon carbide, is an industrial abrasive material, but its name resembles a Latin gerundive.
The phrase originated during World War II. Lexicographer Eric Partridge attributes it to British army intelligence very early in the war…adopted by US Army general “Vinegar” Joe Stillwell as his motto during the war. It was later further popularized in the US by 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater….A wooden plaque bearing the phrase sits prominently on the desk of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner….”
I have some sympathy (small) for the school, but the proposed discipline is way too much and wrong. Just give her an extra assignment, say, write an essay on freedom of speech. The history of this type of saying is on the side of good. Let freedom ring. Illegitimi non carborundum.
If any good could come from a show like “Breaking Bad”, it is that students spend more time examining the Periodic Table in search of element symbols to spell out messages such as the one that Paris created. Radium Thorium Erbium Indium Germanium Nickel Oxygen Uranium Sulfur, I would say!
The school is run by a bunch of Fluorine Silvers.
I’m wondering if perhaps Paris Gray used the F word a few times and a couple GDs then all would be OK. The A word is just to lame. My, have these people anything better to do than decipher and make judgements on a middle school level ?
Students often want to break the protocols of imperious school officials during what they consider a somber moment. The attempts are usually lame and for the most part ignored.
This attempt was clever and stood a great chance of passing without them catching on — except for the Internet. Sounds less like an object for discipline and more like it got the got the goat of school officials.
Me thinks that the school has drank to much ID10T. 😀