California coaches, teacher suspended for wearing blackface

Three San Diego high school coaches and a teacher are being suspended for wearing blackface at a weekend Halloween party, officials announced Friday.

The varsity head football coach, an assistant coach and a teacher at Serra High School face two-day unpaid suspensions for "unprofessional conduct," and a volunteer coach also will be suspended, said Cindy Marten, superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District.

The four posted Facebook photos of themselves at a weekend party wearing blackface, helmets and costumes in a parody of the Jamaican bobsled team from the 1988 Olympics that inspired the movie "Cool Runnings."

The workers have "expressed a deep sense of remorse," Marten said at a news conference where she was flanked by members of the local NAACP chapter and Anti-Defamation League.

"They send their apologies to any person or group of people they have offended and want to make it clear it was not their intention to offend anyone," Marten said.

They will not fight the suspensions, she said.

Critics had called the blackface racially insensitive. The NAACP chapter had called for the coaches to resign or be fired.

However, leaders of the local NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League said they were satisfied with the suspensions.