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California Briefing / Los Angeles

2 sanctioned over 'Bruno' photos

July 01, 2009|Mitchell Landsberg

Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines said Tuesday that he was taking "appropriate personnel action" against the principal and athletic director of Birmingham High School for allowing comedian Sacha Baron Cohen to use the school's football team in a photo shoot.

Cortines declined to say what the action was, citing confidentiality rules.

Depending on the nature of the discipline, it could become somewhat moot today, when the Board of Education is scheduled to vote on Birmingham's petition to become an independent charter school.

If that passes, Principal Marcia Coates and Athletic Director Rick Prizant would no longer be employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Cortines has been incensed by a photo shoot of Cohen, in his role as gay Austrian fashionista "Bruno," that appeared in the latest issue of GQ magazine and on its website.

It shows the scantily clad comedian in poses with the Birmingham football team, including one on top of a player on the ground.

"I don't believe that there is a place on any high school in America, including Los Angeles, for photos such as these," Cortines said in a news release issued by his office.

-- Mitchell Landsberg

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