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Thread: Black Prep School President Steps Down After Mocking White Classmates

  1. #1
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Default Black Prep School President Steps Down After Mocking White Classmates

    This is an interesting story IMO. She posted the offending pic to her personal instagram but it cost her the class presidency. Just like real life politicians, you need to be mindful in your private life as it will spill into your public life.

    Black Prep School President Steps Down After Mocking White Classmates
    By Beth Greenfield, Shine Staff | Healthy Living – 23 hours ago..

    Maya Peterson in the controversial photo. Photo: Instagram via BuzzfeedThe most expensive prep school in the country, the Lawrenceville School, spent much of its spring semester mired in racial tensions as its first black student-body president was forced to step down for “mocking” white male students on Instagram.



    In the photo that Maya Peterson posted of herself to Instagram in March when she was a senior, she poses as a typical “Lawrenceville boi” — wearing a Yale sweatshirt and duck boots, holding a hockey stick. It's hashtagged #romney2016, #confederate, and #peakedinhighschool.

    “I understand why I hurt people's feelings, but I didn't become president to make sure rich white guys had more representation on campus,” Peterson told BuzzFeed, which reported the story on Monday. “Let’s be honest. They're not the ones that feel uncomfortable here.” Peterson graduated from Lawrenceville, a private school near princeton, N.J., in June.

    Still, according to the school's student publication, The Lawrence, after a group of students alerted Dean of Students Nancy Thomas to the post, Thomas met with Peterson and decided it would be best for her to step down as president. Thomas, the story notes, felt “it was not fitting of a student leader to make comments mocking members of the community.” And so Peterson resigned, saying through an email to the student body, “As your Student Body President, it is my job to do what is best for the community, but as a student it is my job to do what is best for myself. With that said, I have decided to step down as President of The Lawrenceville School.”

    Though the Lawrenceville School — where annual tuition is around $53,000 and the student body is 55 percent white, 21 percent Asian, and 16 percent black/Hispanic — would not comment directly on the Peterson situation because of “privacy” issues, it did release the following statement to Yahoo Shine:

    “The Lawrenceville School works hard to foster an inclusive, open, and engaging atmosphere that gives all students opportunities to be heard, feel respected and succeed. We do not tolerate racial discrimination and have had few issues on campus for many years now. Like any institution in America, we appreciate the challenge of having discussions about issues of diversity, and we remain committed to developing young people's abilities to engage with these issues in productive ways.

    “We respect the privacy of our students so we will not comment on the particulars of disciplinary situations. Every student knows we expect them to meet basic standards for honesty, integrity, and respect for others. ‎In turn, we recognize that adolescents make mistakes and give our students every chance to be successful. But, they also know there are consequences for their actions and ultimately they will be held accountable for their behavior. Their actions, and only their actions, guide that process.”

    Peterson, who now lives in New York City, according to her Facebook page, could not be reached for comment by Yahoo Shine. But she told BuzzFeed that the controversy over her leadership started long before the Instagram photo, with cries from some students suggesting that the election she'd won had been fixed. She also notes that some of her initiatives as president — to institute a “diversity representative” on the student council board, and to create gender-neutral bathrooms, for example — were not well-received. She caught flak later in the year, she explains, for raising her fist in a “black power” salute along with several other students for a yearbook photo. But Peterson, a lesbian, says it was always her aim to reach out to minorities who often felt overlooked on campus. “The younger kids told me they felt comfortable opening up to me in a way they didn’t with other people,” she tells Buzzfeed.

    Fellow Lawrenceville students seem torn over the situation. One told BuzzFeed that Peterson’s actions seemed “hateful,” while another called her “a great face of the New Lawrenceville.” On Twitter, commenters have been torn:

    Chet Cannon ✔ @Chet_Cannon
    Not impressed by Maya Peterson. I'm white (not rich/no confederate flags). Her HS tuition is $53,000 and she's shaming "rich, white" people?

    Impatience @Discomfort__
    Thank you, Maya Peterson, for being you and for doing what I was afraid to do 6 years ago you have forced Lawrenceville to have this convo

    “I’m not saying what I did was right,” Peterson told BuzzFeed. “But it wasn’t racist. I was just calling those guys exactly what they are. And Lawrenceville is the type of place where those kids are idolized.”

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  2. #2
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    lol that picture is hilarious!
    and i say good for her. it sucks that they made her step down but if anything, she should claim it as a badge of honour that this school chose to side with the butthurt future date rapist dude-bros rather than her. it speaks volumes about the school IMO. i mean, who's worse: a school that only had its first black school president in 2014, and then forced her to step down because she made a joke about white republican jocks, or a teenage girl making fun of jocks in an instagram picture?

    what the article doesn't mention, is that the picture was only done in response to a bunch of jocks complaining about the picture she took with some of her friends in the yearbook raising their fists in a black panther salute. it mentions the incident but fails to link it directly to the instagram picture she posted. yahoo! fail, as usual.


    finally, neither the school nor the dumb jocks understand what racism means. she might have been prejudiced against the little lacrosse bitches but it's only racism if it's directed towards an oppressed group, and last time i checked, rich, white, privileged prep school jocks aren't exactly victims in contemporary US society. give me a fucking break.
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    Duck boots!! That's all I got
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post

    finally, neither the school nor the dumb jocks understand what racism means. she might have been prejudiced against the little lacrosse bitches but it's only racism if it's directed towards an oppressed group, and last time i checked, rich, white, privileged prep school jocks aren't exactly victims in contemporary US society. give me a fucking break.
    So much this! It pisses me off when bigots think it's ok to make racist jokes and black/minority people should just suck it up coz they're just having a laugh, mate, or else they say that they wouldn't be offended if someone called them a white cunt or whatever - yeah because for centuries white people have been oppressed and there are white women who can still remember being afraid of the black authority figures coming to take their children away. The current Australian of the Year is an aboriginal footy player who has been racially abused by fans and in the media, and when he took a stand there was still a very vocal section of the community calling him a crybaby and telling him to get over it.
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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    I also wonder if it would be so controversial if she were a white girl.
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    “I understand why I hurt people's feelings, but I didn't become president to make sure rich white guys had more representation on campus,”

    Of course not, it's the rich minority students she's looking out for! Because if there's one group that I automatically think drew the short straw - it's the kid of parents rich enough to send them to a school with $53 000 in annual tuition.

    The picture is hypocritical at best - the people she's mocking come from wealthy families, she probably does too.

    The black, white kids in poor places like Western Virginia, Alabama, downtown Chicago, Detroit are the ones who need an actual voice.

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    czb
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    i am familiar with this school and i must say, the article title is misleading. i thought they meant a black prep school!

    i think if she were just a student, *maybe* that pic would be funny. but as student body pres? i don't. i guess this is an unpopular opinion but she sounds like an entitled tool. i don't see this as a racism issue but if she is student body pres, not sure why she is making fun of her constituents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by czb View Post
    i am familiar with this school and i must say, the article title is misleading. i thought they meant a black prep school!

    i think if she were just a student, *maybe* that pic would be funny. but as student body pres? i don't. i guess this is an unpopular opinion but she sounds like an entitled tool. i don't see this as a racism issue but if she is student body pres, not sure why she is making fun of her constituents.
    She's had issues with her fellow classmates and the administration outside of this one incident as well. Classmates took umbrage with her doing a "Black Power" salute in another photo, there was another picture incident where she was smoking (or implied she smokes) weed- which she later apologized for, yet another photo of her in a state of undress. She's violated the school's honor code multiple times in multiple ways. I think she needs a crash course in proper usage of social media- how to effectively communicate through it without leaving a disastrous trail behind her.

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    ^^^ ah.

    i don't have a problem with a Black Power salute, but aside from that, the photo above makes her look like a Tool ....

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    Elite Member Charmed Hour's Avatar
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    I, too, have no issue with the salute. However, I can see why people were offended.

    I think she's a total tool. I read a few interviews with her and she kept stressing she wasn't a scholarship student. Her parents paid the 53K a year out of pocket. Ok, so she's, like the "Lawrenceville bois" is a entitled rich kid.

    Quote Originally Posted by czb View Post
    ^^^ ah.

    i don't have a problem with a Black Power salute, but aside from that, the photo above makes her look like a Tool ....

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    At first glance, it didn't seem particularly offensive. Or funny for that matter but Yale sweatshirts & hockey sticks are pretty meaningless to me so it doesn't resonate with me either way. It's the hashtags that set a hateful tone for the picture. Even after reading the article it's unclear what she hoped to accomplish. Bringing attention to the things/people/attributes she thinks are important & undervalued would have been a more effective way of bringing about positive change. She may have widened the dialogue, which is always good, but she probably made some people's racial attitudes even worse. Not sure when it's ever helpful in any way to anybody for an elected person to ridicule a segment of their constituency.
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    So this pic was another salvo in a stupid back-and-forth with some whiny jocks? Way to be mature and rise above the dickheads. She has a ways to go before she makes leadership material.

    And: "it's only racism if it's directed towards an oppressed group"? Really? I think that racism is just racism and it's always, always wrong. You can't make something that evil conditionally okay.

    Although, I don't find this particular picture or incident overtly racist. I am not particularly fond of the class she was spoofing either, but the context is silly and immature. Basically, her pic is just culturist/classist, snotty and hypocritical, considering that she is more a part of that moneyed class than she perhaps wants to own--or she wouldn't be at that school to begin with. There's a serious lack of street cred here to be sporting such a wanna-be badass attitude.
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