Black Student President At Exclusive Boarding School Mocks White Students, Forced To Resign
There have been several incidents of white students coming under fire for posing in photos mocking black people. Maya Peterson has done the opposite and it too has cost her.
Peterson was the first black female student body president at the prestigious Lawrenceville School near Princeton, N.J. In fact, it is the country’s most expensive boarding school with an annual tuition of $53,000. She was stripped of her title after she posted an Instagram mocking her rich, white, male classmates. Peterson dressed up as the typical “Lawrenceville boi” with a Yale sweatshirt, khaki pants and holding a hockey stick.
Peterson, who added the hashtags #romney2016 and #confederate, posted the photo after students complained about of photo of black students making the black power salute in the school yearbook. Commenting on her own post, she wrote:
Yes, I am making a mockery of the right-wing, confederate-flag hanging, openly misogynistic Lawrentians. If that’s a large portion of the school’s male population, then I think the issue is not with my bringing attention to it in a lighthearted way, but rather why no one has brought attention to it before …
Peterson later told Buzzfeed, “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. Let’s be honest. They’re not the ones that feel uncomfortable here.”
Peterson sent a school-wide email earlier this year announcing her resignation, which was forced upon her by school officials who that she would face disciplinary action if she didn’t resign.
There is a major racial divide, say black students at the school. According to Buzzfeed:
Many [black students] said they had been called racial epithets, ranging from “Negro amigo” to “n***er,” by white peers who didn’t understand “why they couldn’t say the word too.”
One student said she overheard her white male classmates call black students on an opposing basketball team “Trayvon,” after Trayvon Martin. Another pointed out a newspaper op-ed by a white student criticizing a Black History Month celebration for “descending” into a rap performance “crafted with too little, if any, subtlety.”
When elected Peterson told the school paper she hoped her win would make Lawrenceville a “truly unified and diverse” place. Hopefully this will be a learning experience for everyone, especially Lawrenceville, which clearly needs to do more to make sure all of the students feel comfortable in this very privileged environment.