D.L. Chandler

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.

From Buzzfeed:

“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

Comment Comments: 9 Tags Tags: new jersey

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  • Lamb

    She gave them a reason and they ran with it.

  • A racist black! No, say it ain’t so.

  • DarleneCartangyf

    My Uncle Riley got an almost new red GMC
    Canyon just by some parttime working online with a laptop. visit their website F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • Laura Looch

    I like her. She will rock this world yet.

  • socialismisevil

    if we are to get respect
    we have to give respect

    she choose her path

    she wants to be a racist

    thats what she is

  • Dire Straights

    She’s racist as h*ll. She is exactly what she was making fun of. She is the elite that she claims to hate. She is the racist she hates. She is the intolerant one. How can she not see her own hypocrisy??

    • Aangᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ


  • lvillestudent

    I currently go to Lawrenceville, and while the coverage of this story makes my school seem racist, homophibic and sexist, it is not. Maya broke many school rules prior to this- something that all these articles fail to mention. As a member of our community, it is expected of you to not openly mock others based on their gender, race, sexuality or religion. As a student body president, it is even more important to set a good example. This is not a race or sexuality issue, but rather an issue about respect and abidance to school rules. If any other member of the community had acted in the same way, they would have met with the same consequences. Please don’t think that Lawrenceville is a prejudiced and hateful place- although it is by reputation a more WASP-y school, I have had the best experiences in my past three years here, even though I am not white and not particularly wealthy. I know the bias that surrounds prep schools, but I promise you that the 800 or so current students are a great group of kids who do not deserve to be marginalized by sensationalist media. These articles have left out many important facts about the entire story, and I would hope that everyone who reads this thinks about the presentation of such news before they jump to quick conclusions about a large group of high school students that they have never met before.

  • Aangᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ