Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

On Sept. 24, the Coatesville Area School District Board voted 6 to 1 to accept the retirement of the Superintendent Richard Como and the resignation of the Athletic Director Jim Donato from the Coatesville School District.
Donato and Como were using their school-issued cell phones to send racial and sexist text messages back and forth to one another. One word that was constantly tossed around during their conversations was the “n” word. As they should have learned from Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, the use of this word is not accepted nor tolerated by the public. The conversation also included hints from Donato and Como that they were taking money from the school. The release of the text messages to the public has created public displeasure. Community members actively spoke out, demanding the termination of both men.
As for the overwhelming 6-to-1 vote, Dr. Tanya Thames Taylor was the only board member to vote against. Joe Dunn, James Fox, Bill Sweigart, Paul Johnson, Laurie Knecht, and school board President Neil Campbell were among those who voted yes. Two board members did not attend the meeting so they were conferencecalled into the conversations, but they were left out of the voting.
Donato abruptly resigned from this Athletic Director position on Aug. 29, followed by the retirement of Como on Sept. 2. Although both of these men are no longer working for the Coatesville Area School District, there has been and will continue to be an investigation by the Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan.
“We had an investigation that pre-dated these texts and these phones,” Hogan said. “What then happened was we had developed sources during the course of the investigation, and one night, one of those sources called me up and said these texts have been discovered – there are racist comments, and in addition there are comments about skimming, we are afraid that these phones are going to be either destroyed or that they will never see the light of day.”
Sean Breen is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at

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