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New Texting Allegation Made at Latest Coatesville Board Meeting

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The Philadelphia Inquirer
October 9, 2013 Wednesday
CITY-D Edition
PHILADELPHIA; P-com News Local; Pg. B05
287 words
More flak over Coatesville text messages
By Michaelle Bond; Inquirer Staff Writer

Two weeks after voting to accept the resignations of a superintendent and athletic director who exchanged racist and sexist text messages, the Coatesville Area school board could not escape the controversy at its committee meetings Tuesday.

An administrator who revealed the messages accused Angelo Romaniello Jr., now acting superintendent, of sending a text message to then-athletic director James Donato about her weight.

Unlike two weeks ago, many of the high school auditorium's seats were empty. But the roughly 100 people at the meeting erupted at the accusation.

"It was not racial, but it was personally demeaning and uncalled for," said Teresa Powell, acting assistant superintendent.

Powell said Donato then forwarded to then-Superintendent Richard Como the message sent from Romaniello's phone. Como then allegedly texted Donato back, calling Powell a racial slur.

Asked by reporters after the meeting whether he was involved in the texting exchange, Romaniello said, "Absolutely not." Earlier, when a mother asked Romaniello whether he had seen racist or sexist text messages sent to him by Donato or Como, Romaniello replied that he had not seen the transcripts and could not recall seeing the messages on his phone.

Amid such typical business as appointing a board secretary and approving a trip to Vermont for a high school ski club, members of the crowd used time set aside for comment on agenda items to voice their displeasure with the board's decision to allow Como and Donato to resign.

The board also continued to deny accusations that Powell and Abdallah Hawa, the technology director who found the text messages on Donato's district-issued cellphone, were being harassed and kept from their duties.

Photograph by: Steven M. Falk
October 9, 2013

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