School Officials Resign Over Racially-Charged Text Messages: Report

School officials say two high-ranking administrators in the Coatesville School district have stepped down amid a criminal investigation and the discovery of racially-charged text messages.

Coatesville Area School District Superintendent Richard Como and Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato each resigned effective earlier this month. Como left after posting a brief online letter and Donato left days later.

School board President Neil Campbell confirmed the departures at a Sept. 10 board meeting but said there would be no further comment, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.

The abrupt departure came two weeks after numerous exchanges of inappropriate and racially-charged text messages were discovered on their district-issued cell phones, according to The Daily Local News of West Chester.

NBC10 has confirmed that the Chester County District Attorney is investigating both men ahead of a district board meeting Tuesday night. The Coatesville Area School Board is expected to formally vote to approve the resignations of both men at Tuesday's public meeting.

Polly Williams, a parent, says she is frustrated that the school district has offered few details on the abrupt resignations.

“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,” said Williams.

Coatesville graduate Scarlett Patton says she is left wondering if the Como she knew was authentic.

“At our graduation, he talked really highly about students and how proud he was of us and everything. And how great of a staff and how strong Coatesville was,” said Patton.

The school board meeting is set for this Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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