If everyone in your community could read your text messages, would they be horrified? The racist and sexist messages between school superintendent Richard Como and athletic director Jim Donato have rocked the community of Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Apparently the texts between these two men included graphic references to faculty and students. Just a few harmless, private jokes between two men? Not so much.
Copies of the messages between Como and Donato were given to the school board from an anonymous source. The Chester County District Attorney office discovered the messages when they were conducting an unrelated investigation of the district. Meanwhile, Como and Donato both resigned reportedly when they found out the board planned to fire them -- but the damage is already done.
So how bad were these text messages, anyway? Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan says, "The text messages that we reviewed were of a shockingly racist nature. They looked like something from 1813, not 2013." Oof, that bad, huh? I'm glad I haven't found transcripts of those messages yet, though I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they're leaked. (Maybe it's already happened and I just don't know because I don't want to know ...)
Board President Neil Campbell issued a statement saying that the school board had moved as quickly as possible on the incident and were cooperating with the District Attorney. "The racist and sexist language expressed by the two men was sickening and obviously unacceptable," he said.
So now we're all in agreement that this was disgusting behavior, especially coming from adults who are supposedly leading school faculty and students. Wouldn't you expect more from them? This must come as a horrible shock to the families in the community. Or maybe not. About a third of the school community is black, and I bet they're unfortunately all too accustomed to racism coming from any and all sources.
Meanwhile, I can't help imagining (if these allegations are true) what this meeting of the minds between Como and Donato must have been like. At what point did they recognize they were racist, sexist kindred spirits and start letting the shit fly with each other? Do these people have radar for their type? Ugh, probably. At least everyone else seems to agree that their exchanges were wrong. Now everyone who works for the district has to do sensitivity training. But the two people who needed it most should have gotten that training a long time ago.
Are you surprised that two adults with leadership positions in a school district were exchanging offensive text messages?
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