Residents invited to speak on Oct. 15 at Second Baptist Church
As promised at the last Coatesville Area School District meeting, the Pennsylvania State Conference of NAACP Branches, through its Education Committee, has arranged for public hearings to be held in Coatesville, “in the wake of turmoil caused by the overtly racist and sexist actions” of two former CASD administrators.
The hearings are scheduled for Oct. 15, at the Second Baptist Church, 856 Merchant St., Coatesville. The hearings will begin at 6:30 and end at 8:30 p.m. All persons wishing to be heard are invited to participate. A second date, Oct. 22, has been arranged should more time be needed, a NAACP news release said.
On Sept. 24, despite public opposition, the school board voted to accept the resignations of former Superintendent of Schools Richard Como and former Athletic Director James Donato, both of whom submitted letters of resignation after an exchange of their racially-charged text messages surfaced. Residents felt the two should be fired.
“The Pennsylvania State Conference of the NAACP is deeply saddened by the recent events that have wounded the students, taxpayers and employees of the Coatesville Area School District. We stand in solidarity with the Coatesville community in its condemnation of all acts of subtle and overt racism, sexism, and any other form of bigotry,” said J. Whyatt Mondesire, president of the Pennsylvania State Conference of NAACP Branches, in the release.
“Public hearings are a direct action strategy used by the NAACP as an information-gathering tool,” explained Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, chair of the Education Committee of the PA NAACP State Conference. “The first step in NAACP advocacy is to gather facts.”
A number of Coatesville community members have agreed to serve as personal points of contact for persons wishing to offer statements at the hearings. People are encouraged to reach out to a support volunteer whom they know and trust. The community support list includes Carmen Boyd, community member; Jacquelyn Carter of New Life in Christ Fellowship; Rev. Sherry Deets of Trinity Episcopal Church; Rev. Randy Harris of Tabernacle Baptist Church; Monica McHale-Small, CASD parent; Anthony Taylor of the Coatesville NAACP; and Debbie Willett, CASD parent, the release said.
A form has been published to assist speakers in organizing their statements. To access the form, contact a support volunteer, or go to http://coatesvillenaacp.org; or http://pastatenaacp.org. You can also contact Duvall-Flynn at email@example.com.