He told a group of clergy members that young ladies are "Bad and the community's worst enemy".
"We should not have someone over our school district saying the wrong thing," said Eyvonne Melvin, Jersey City resident.
"Wow, he said that? That's bad," said Kenny Robinson, a parent.
Residents and parents had strong reactions to a quote in the local paper by Superintendent Dr. Charles Epps, who opened his office to reporters, to explain his comment.
"It was a poor choice of words, we have concerns about all of our kids," Dr. Epps said.
Dr. Epps said overall, he was talking about boys and girls, and what he hears from too many of them way too often.
"We have issues about violence, we have issues about language, we have issues about disrespect," Dr. Epps said.
Dr Epps gets strong support from the ministers he was addressing Wednesday, when he said it, discussing ways to mentor troubled teens.
The ministers all took the superintendent's quotes as metaphors.
"There's bad girls, the truth is, our children need help, that's what he was trying to say," said Dr. Rudolph Daniels, of the Int. Ministerial Alliance of Jersey City.
"I do think it's time to come together, stop blaming, let's build our future," said Rev. Joyce Watterman, a minister.
Dr. Epps says his words were too biting.
"I apologize, it was a poor choice of words," Dr. Epps said.
One 9-year-old student heard discussions about the issue at school, and offered this for everyone.
"I wish they'd all get along, and just respect each other," said Kendual Robinson, a student.