A transcript of the texts shows a stream of unbridled contempt for African Americans, Jews, Latinos, Arabs, and women. At the very least, the authors owe students, parents, and their former colleagues an apology.
The Coatesville affair is another sad reminder that this is not a "post-racial" era, even though such behavior is publicly frowned upon these days. Hate hasn't gone away; it's just gone underground as societal norms have changed.
Similar vitriol can be found online, though it is usually voiced anonymously by people who are afraid to face the consequences of their words. They came out in force when Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America, suggesting that the Indian American woman's skin color renders her unfit to wear the rhinestone tiara.
The Coatesville texters probably thought they would get away with their remarks, but other school employees discovered the messages and blew the whistle. The Chester County District Attorney's Office is investigating, and the school board is on the spot, as it should be.
After the texts were revealed by West Chester's Daily Local News, board members apparently held meetings about them in violation of the state's open-meetings law. They have also been playing games with public-records requests. And they are failing to fully answer questions from parents and the media, saying the District Attorney's Office won't let them.
It looks like a cover-up, which is the last thing this wounded community needs. Board members must disclose and confront the facts and stop trying to protect themselves.
The school board has ordered sensitivity training for staff and counseling for students, but that's not enough. While the board can't stamp out hateful thoughts and behavior, it has an obligation to protect children and employees from it at school. If board members are not up to that job, they should resign too.