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Student who mocked white males out as president

2 min read

I was at first hesitant to talk about this, because this article is about an incident that took place in my own high school. Nonetheless, it is a topic that I feel rather strongly about and definitely an issue relating to taste.

This article discusses the stepping down of Maya Peterson from student body president last spring. Maya was in my grade, and I have known her since 2010. Here are the few opening paragraphs of the CNN article regarding this:

Money, prestige and race are front and center in an ongoing controversy surrounding one of the most expensive prep schools in the country and its former student-body president.

Maya Peterson was the first black female student president of The Lawrenceville School, an affluent academy for boarding and day students located in New Jersey.

This March, after Peterson mocked her white male classmates on Instagram, she claims she was asked to step down or face disciplinary action.

According to reports, Peterson took the first option and resigned under administrative pressure.

The obvious taste in question is Maya's instagram photo. Maya had posted an instagram photo of herself in stereotypical preppy (male) clothing and a hockey stick with hashtags such as which offended many students and caused a rather heated debate on campus. Some considered an act of reverse-racism and others stood by Maya.

In an interview, Maya expressed her view on the tastefulness of her post: "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," she said. "Let's be honest. They're not the ones that feel uncomfortable here."

My opinions of this event have less to do with the tastefulness of the post, but about the way online publications displayed the event. Most publications framed Maya's stepping down as a very tasteless decision on the school administration's part by providing only a part of the story. For me, seeing my school go through this showed me how large of an impact delivery can have on how others take in information.