Paris Gray, upstanding vice president of her about-to-graduate high-school class in Jonesboro, Georgia, was suspended last Friday when administrators figured out what her yearbook quote meant. It read:
When the going gets tough, just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus.
So, when the going gets tough, just remember to [Ba][C][K] [Th][At] [As][S] [U][P].
"Basically, it was me just saying start all over again," Gray told Carl Willis of the local news station WSB-TV last night. Gray was a toddler when Juvenile's song "Back That Azz Up" spent a summer dominating the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart and capsizing a lexicon. Whatever wisdom might be drawn from that song is at odds with Gray's sunny interpretation of the phrase: "You have to go back and start all over."
Administrators barred Gray from participating in a senior walk on Friday, Willis reported. She was also supposed to speak at the upcoming graduation ceremony, but Gray said an assistant principal told her that was off.
Reporting from the parking lot of Mundy's Mill High School last night, Willis said Gray is "a good kid by all accounts," a member of Students Against Drunk Driving, a leader and student-athlete. Gray's mother, Zarinah Woods, said, "My first reaction was, you are such a nerd."