AKRON, Ohio -- Five students accused of defacing a high school locker room door with a swastika and a racial slur have resolved their case through a diversion program after making a public apology.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the students wrote a letter apologizing to the city of Akron and Ellet High School. They read it aloud during a meeting at an Akron church, with a juvenile court judge and the mayor in attendance.

They had faced charges of misdemeanor criminal mischief and ethnic intimidation. Those charges will be dismissed when they complete the diversion program.

The boys wrote that they intended the vandalism as a joke.

An assistant basketball coach offered his forgiveness. He said the boys are young and did not understand what they were doing.