Principal at York school speaks out following discriminatory website statement backlash

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

YORK, Pa. -- It's been a challenging week for `Tidings of Peace Christian School` in York.

After posting a controversial message on the welcome page of their website, Clayton Shenk, who is a pastor and principal at the school, says he is being accused of making racist remarks and wants to set the record straight.

"It was poorly worded and I would do it all over again if I had the opportunity," said Clayton Shenk, Tidings of Peace Christian School.

The message on the website reads: "Many people who live outside of the city believe that, urban children are loud, dirty and unruly," adding that when "children are trained properly, they can learn to be quiet, clean and orderly."

"It was wrong and I'm sorry that I hurt people, I'm sorry that people responded the way that they did, that's not my intent to cause division, my intent is to cause unity," added Shenk.

One woman, who was helping her sister find a private school for her children, came across the school and was outraged by the statement. She took to social media, stating she would be contacting the local chapter of the NAACP.

However Shenk says he did not have any racial intent with his message.

"There's many people out on the farms that have this negative images of cities and I'm trying to help see that's not true and that we're trying to equip the children and trying to break down those prejudice, so however it was worded, you know it could have been worded better, but it's farm versus city, not any racial intent," said Shenk.

"Everyone should be forgiven for doing wrong but you know he needs to think it through," said Nat Goldsbourgh of York.

“He should of found better words if that's not what he intended," said Estefani Maldonado, who is also a resident of York.

"At the end of the day Gos is the only one that has the right to judge," said Antwan Richie of York.

"I have made lots and lots of mistakes in life and a fool is not one that makes mistakes a fool is one that doesn't learn from his mistakes and so I want to learn," added Shenk.

The webpage with that welcome message has since been taken down.

Shenk says he hopes to come up with a clearer message that will better get his vision for the school across to the community.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.