A criminal investigation is underway in the Coatesville, Pa., school district after the discovery of racist text messages about students and employees that were exchanged between the recently resigned superintendent and athletic director, according to local published reports.
Reporters at the Daily Local News obtained transcripts of the text-message exchanges between former Superintendent Richard Como and former Athletic Director Jim Donato. One conversation between the men from June included 14 uses of a racial epithet to describe both African-American students and school personnel, according to the newspaper.
The school board apparently allowed both officials to quietly resign their positions after the messages were discovered by a district employee, and initially said little or nothing publicly about their departures. Both men stepped down during the first week of the school year.
The Coatesville district, in a racially mixed suburb of Philadelphia, has some 7,000 students. More than 40 percent are African-American.
A version of this article appeared in the October 02, 2013 edition of Education Week as Pa. District Officials Resign After Racist Text Messages