Ojai Nordhoff Principal Greg Bayless has removed three players from the baseball team after two of the players "used the letters of their NHS jerseys to spell out" a racial slur and another took a photo and posted it on social media, Bayless said in letters sent to faculty.
He called the word "the most hurtful, disrespectful and indefensible racial epithet in our language/culture."
He also accepted the resignation of head coach Sean Strben even though Bayless said Strben was not involved in the incident.
He asked humanities teachers to take time this week to "address the historical, social, political and ethical issues surrounding the use of this word, why it is so offensive, demeaning and disrespectful, how it has no place in a civil society let alone this campus."
Bayless said Wednesday he gave consideration to canceling the season but agreed to continue after meeting with team members on Friday.
"I considered canceling the season because it was not clear to me to the extent this was an isolated incident and it was not clear to me if the other players understood the gravity of the situation," he said. "If any was going to minimize or dismiss the situation, I would have said the season is over. Instead, they were incredibly embarrassed. Not a single person of the remaining players was not deeply wounded."
The incident happened March 15 during school. Administrators began investigating the incident the following day. The team canceled its game against Westlake on Saturday.