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Racist Text Messages Between Pennsylvania School Officials Prompt Investigation

By Bianca Facchinei b.facchinei@hngn.com | Sep 23, 2013 12:15 PM EDT

Coatesville HS
Two school officials in Pennsylvania resigned after racist texts about the faculty and students surfaced on their district-issued cell phones. (Photo : T)

Two school officials in Pennsylvania resigned after racist texts about the faculty and students surfaced on their district-issued cell phones, NBC10 reported.

After posting a letter online, Coatesville Area School District Superintendent Richard Como resigned from his position just days before Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato did the same.

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Both Como and Donato left two weeks after the racist text messages were discovered. According to the Daily Local News of West Chester, derogatory terms referring to African American individuals were used 14 times.

"All should just have whatever first names they want...then last name is N----R!," Donato wrote to Como. "Leroy N----r, Preacher N----r, Night train n----r, clarence n----r, Latoya n----r, Thelma n----r and so on."

"Great idea!" Como responded. "Joe n----r bill n----r snake n----r got a nice ring to it."

Sources close to the case claim the school board allowed Como and Donato keep their jobs until the text transcript was leaked to the Chester County District Attorney's Office, the local newspaper said.

However, James Ellison, school board solicitor, said he had never seen the messages before.

"You're asking me to offer comment regarding messages in your possession, which I have never seen. No matter what your sources say I have not seen what you have in your possession, and I cannot offer any comment unless and until I do," Ellison said after being asked to comment.

Neil Campbell, president of the school board, confirmed their resignations at a meeting on Sept. 10 but declined to comment further.

Many parents, including Polly Williams, feel frustrated that the school board is trying so hard to keep the investigation quiet.

"Our tax money pays their salaries, so it's like they're our employees also. For us not to know exactly what happened, I feel like is an injustice to the community," Williams said.

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