Coatesville School Official Has Ties To County ; Former Pequea Valley Football Coach Embroiled In Racial Controversy. [Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA)]
(Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) One of the two Coatesville Area School District administrators embroiled in a controversy stemming from their alleged exchange of a series of racist and sexist text messages has ties to Lancaster County.
According to an AP story, Coatesville superintendent Richard Como and athletic director Jim Donato resigned on Aug. 29 after learning that the school board intended to fire them for trading "highly offensive" text messages on school-issued cell phones.
Donato is a former football coach at Pequea Valley High School. He coached the Braves for one season in 1999 before resigning. PV went 3-7 that year. Donato was hired to replace Jerry Lenhoff, who was asked to resign by the PV school board after a heated on-field argument with an official drew the ire of fans and school administrators.
After leaving PV, Donato eventually landed the athletic director position at Coatesville. According to a report in the Daily Local News of West Chester, several text messages between Donato and Como were discovered by a member of the school's IT department while copying data on Donato's phone to a newly purchased device.
The employee took the messages to a school administrator, prompting an internal investigation.
"The racist and sexist language expressed by these two men was sickening and obviously unacceptable," Coatesville school board president Neil Campbell said in a statement released by the school district, after the texts were obtained and published by the Daily Local News.
The scandal has rocked Coatesville, where nearly a third of the district's students are black. Como and Donato are white.
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