Meeting to discuss discrimination in York County

Alyssa Pressler
  • Following reports of racial harassment at Vo-Tech and the West York's mayor's resignation, a meeting will be held.
  • The community can come together to discuss tensions at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Room 201 at Crispus Attucks.
  • The meeting will be hosted by the York County Advisory Council.

The York County Advisory Council will discuss recent issues of racial tension and discrimination in York County when members meet for their regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday.

Shanelle DeShields, 17, a senior at Central York High School, joins community members and students at a rally to draw awareness to alleged racial bullying at York County School of Technology, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. DeShields said she was a student at York Tech but left last year after being racially bullied.  John A. Pavoncello photo

The council is an extension of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the City of York Human Relations Commission. The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. at Crispus Attucks, 605 S. Duke St. The meetings aim to educate the public about available services and create partnerships at the local level, according to the state commission's website.

At this month's meeting, discussions will revolve around recent racial harassment allegations made by students at the York County School of Technology, popularly known as Vo-Tech. On Nov. 9, a video surfaced of a group of students marching through the halls with a Donald Trump sign while someone in the video shouted "white power."

Crisis team to be on-site at Vo-Tech Friday after reports of harassment

The video prompted several students to step forward and discuss harassment they say they had been subjected to throughout the presidential campaign. Representatives from the state Department of Education and the Human Relations Commission went to the school on Nov. 11 to provide support for students and help the school assess the situation.

Gov. Wolf condemns 'overt racism' at York Tech, other schools

The discussion also will center on former West York Mayor Charles Wasko, who came under fire for racist posts on his Facebook page in October. He resigned Oct. 21. West York Borough Council President Shawn Mauck took over as mayor for the year remaining on the term.

Wasko, who was elected mayor in 2013, made several posts on Facebook this year that council members and community members took issue with. Two compared President Barack Obama and his family to apes, and one suggested Obama should be hanged with a noose. Another post featured a fictional black person saying that socialism is "when the white folks work every day so we can get all our governmental entitlement stuff for free."

West York accepts mayor's resignation

Members of both the state and local Human Relations Commissions will attend Wednesday's meeting, which is open to the public.