Black Student President Forced To Step Down For Mocking White Students
A student at a prestigious New Jersey boarding school who was elected as its first Black female student body president had to resign from her post, this after being discovered for mocking White students. Maya Peterson took to Instagram to post a photo playing up White stereotypes of students at the school, but says it was to promote a larger push for diversity.
Peterson did not set out to become a firebrand at the Lawrenceville School, but she definitely stood out for a variety of other reasons. Tall, dread-locked and an out lesbian, Peterson’s story was featured by Buzzfeed which offered insight on why she took the photo last March. Peterson said the shot was in response to complaints from White students over a group photo she and other Black students took with them raising their fists in the “Black Power” salute.
Peterson donned a Yale University sweater and posed with a hockey stick in what she called the “Lawrenceville boi” look. White students were outraged at the photo, with one person calling her out on the the photo. Peterson’s response was pointed to say the least.
“Yes, I am making a mockery of the right-wing, confederate-flag hanging, openly misogynistic Lawrentians,” Peterson responded. “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…”
Three weeks later, the administration told Peterson she would face disciplinary action unless she resigned from her post as student body president, she said. Peterson was the first black woman to serve in that role at The Lawrenceville School, a prestigious boarding school near Princeton, N.J., that costs around $53,000 a year to attend, making it the most expensive high school in the country.
Just to hammer her point home, Peterson added the hashtags “#romney2016,” and #confederate” just in case her response failed to register its larger intent. Peterson stepped down from her role as student body president amid complaints from students who felt deeply offended by her portrayal.
Peterson graduated from Lawrenceville this year, but her act certainly has unveiled that an undercurrent of racial divide exists in top private schools which claim diversity is at the top of their priorities.
Photo: Maya Peterson/Instagram