STEPPED DOWN: Maya Peterson
THE FIRST black female student body president at one of America’s most prestigious prep schools has been forced to resign after pictures emerged showing her mocking white students.
Maya Peterson, formerly of Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, was seen wearing an outfit that many viewed as ‘typically white’ where she referred to herself as the typical “Lawrenceville boi” and used hashtags such as #romney2016 and #confederate.
The offensive image was published on website buzzfeed.com forcing Peterson to address the outrage.
“I understand why I hurt people’s feelings,” she said. “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.”
She said the image was in response to complaints made by students about her senior photos, where she and her black friends are seen raising their fists in a 'Black Power' salute.
Lawrenceville School is the most expensive high school in America and costs $53,000 per year.
In 2012, following the re-election of President Barack Obama, Peterson wrote on Facebook about how proud she was that an African-American was president.
“As a black and Latino, gay woman in the United States of America, today is a momentous day,” she wrote. “I’m sorry to all the rich white men who have failed to elect a president that endorses their greed.”
Nancy Thomas, the Dean of Students, told the school’s student paper that “It was not fitting for a student leader to make comments mocking members of the community”
Peterson, who was told she would face disciplinary action if she did not resign, has faced ridicule from classmates who call her posts racist.
“I’m gonna have to assume from your political beliefs and what you’ve said that you do not pay for your Lawrenceville tuition in its entirety,” one student wrote. “But do you know who pays for that? Yeah, that would be all those greedy white men who actually worked for their fortune, not relied on the government to support them. Just saying.”
Peterson's family paid her tuition in full.