Senior Faces Graduation Ban for Making Science Joke in Yearbook

The senior class vice-president of a high school in Georgia may be banned from her graduation ceremony for using the periodic elements to spell out "Back that ass up" in her yearbook quote.

Paris Gray, a student at Mundy's Mill High School in Clayton County, Ga., used the following quote in her yearbook: "When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus."

For those of you who can't remember the periodic elements: When spelled out, the full quote reads, "When the going gets tough, just remember to back that ass up."

Senior Faces Graduation Ban for Making Science Joke in Yearbook

The quote is probably a reference to Juvenile's 1999 hit, "Back That Ass Up," though Gray insists it had an inspirational meaning.

"Basically, it was me just saying start all over again," Gray told WSB. "You have to go back and start all over."

Once school administrators realized what the quote meant, Gray received an in-school suspension and was told she couldn't participate in last week's senior walk. She may also be banned from her this week's graduation ceremony, where she's scheduled to give the inspirational speech.

"I think their reaction was beyond what it should have been because nobody understood it," Gray said. "It just completely destroyed me, and my mom's been telling me don't let it ruin my happiness but it's like really taking a big toll."

Gray's mother, Zarinah Woods, seems to be taking the controversy in stride. "My first reaction was, you are such a nerd," she said.

No final decision on Gray's punishment has been made, though the school's principal and the area superintendent are meeting with her mother on Tuesday.