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Suspended Blackface Coaches Back on Field

 
Suspended Blackface Coaches Back on Field
Posted Friday, November 1st 2013 @ 1pm

The San Diego Unified School District announced that two Serra High School football coaches who dressed in blackface for Halloween have been suspended.

But hours after the decision was announced by school district officials, P-E teacher Brian Basteyns and assistant fooball coach Howard Seeley were back on the field for the Friday night game. School officials did not reveal details of the suspensions and what days the coaches would serve them.

Brian Basteyns and Harold Seeley wore the blackface costumes at a San Diego State game last weekend. One of the coaches then posted the Halloween photos on his Facebook page.

In a press conference Friday afternoon, SD Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten announced that Basteyns and Seeley were suspended and won't challenge the decision.

Marten said the men were "very regretful" of the incident and "expressed deep sense of remorse."

She added that the coaches wished to "apologize to anyone they offended" and it was "not their intent to offend anyone."

Sources told media partner 10News Marten met with local NAACP and Anti-Defamation League leaders this week to discuss the incident that has sparked controversy. At the meeting, the parties agreed that both men should be suspended, according to sources.

Earlier in the week, NAACP leaders called for the coaches to be fired over the incident.

Some Serra High football players told 10News the costume issue was being blown out of proportion. Player Jonathan Ziv called it a "harmless prank," while Josh Garcia said that is what Halloween is all about.

Team captain Richard Price, who is black, said he also laughed when he learned the coach had dressed up like a member of the Jamaican bobsled team, saying Basteyns sometimes played the "Cool Runnings" movie about them for his students.

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