L.A. schools Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in remarks reported today that he will reassign the three teachers who had their students display pictures of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul in a Black History Month parade.
Cortines told the Los Angeles Times that he has no evidence that the teachers' actions were racially motivated, but "I think it was an exercise of very poor judgment."
"These were not novice teachers," he said.
The teachers, white men assigned to teach first, second and fourth grades at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School in South Los Angeles, were suspended without pay for three days and will be kept out of the classroom until they are assigned to three other schools, The Times reported.
United Teachers Los Angeles officials declined to say whether the suspensions or the transfers would be challenged, saying personnel matters are confidential.
Some civil rights leaders had demanded that the Los Angeles Unified School District fire the teachers, saying their choices made a mockery of black history and reinforced racial stereotypes at a school that is more than 90 percent Latino.
Cortines said he did not believe that dismissals were warranted. But because of the public outcry, he was advised that returning the teachers to Wadsworth would be disruptive, Robert Alaniz, a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman, told The Times.
"That exposes other children to the racist teachers," the Rev. Eric P. Lee, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, told The Times. "They get teachers who engage in various violations, but because of due process, you can't get rid of them."