Paris Gray’s yearbook quote reflected her mastery of the periodic table: “When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus.”
That’s “nerd code” for: “So, when the going gets tough, just remember to [Ba][C][K] [Th][At] [As][S] [U][P].” (I’d bet she was a Breaking Bad fan.)
When Jonesboro, Georgia school officials figured it out, the class vice president received an in-school suspension, was banned from the senior walk and was told her graduation speech would be canceled.
“Basically, it was me just saying start all over again,” Gray told the local news station WSB-TV.
A 1999 song by Juvenile, Back That Azz Up, has a somewhat different message, perhaps best translated by me as “I admire your posterior.”
After the story went viral, Gray and her family met with the school’s principal and the superintendent, who said she will speak at graduation after all.