CA High School Asked to Abandon Arab Mascot

THERMAL, Calif., Nov. 7 (UPI) --
An Arab-American activist group says a California high school's Arab mascot is a demeaning caricature and should be changed.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee this month sent a letter to Coachella Valley High School in southern California, asking the school to change the name of its mascot, CNN reported.

"Continued use of the 'Arab' mascot perpetuates demeaning stereotypes of Arabs and Arab Americans," the group said. "Coachella Valley High School's gross stereotyping cannot be tolerated."

The mascot "depicts a man with a large nose, heavy beard, and wearing" a traditional head covering, the group said. During halftime shows at football games, "a female dressed as belly dancer entertains the mascot by dancing for him," the group said.

Coachella Valley Unified School District Superintendent Darryl Adams said he is looking into how to rectify the situation.

"We're very sensitive to that and how we're going to work to make sure, maybe sometimes you should have some consultations when we're working with other groups and cultures," Adams said.

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