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High School Retires Controversial Arab Mascot

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Southern California high school has retired a controversial Arab mascot that prompted objections from an anti-discrimination group last year.

    Coachella Valley High School's mascot, which appears as a sneering man with a scraggly beard, hooked nose and a headscarf, has been retired, the Desert Sun reported. School officials said the old mascot will be replaced by a stoic, neatly groomed man

    A belly-dancing genie that often appears with the mascot during football games was also retired, according to the report.

    The controversy began last November when a community member of Coachella Valley High School in Coachella, Calif., located just east of Palm Springs, brought the mascot to the attention of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

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    The Coachella Valley school superintendent seemed optimistic that the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wouldn't fight to change the 100-year-old Arab's name. The Committee will help finance any logo changes, which could cost thousands of dollars. Tony Shin reports from Thermal for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2013.

    After gathering opinions from the Arab-American community, many felt the mascot was demeaning and the group decided to act, said Abed A. Ayoub, the group's director of legal and policy affairs.

    Ayoub wrote a letter to the district on Nov. 1 saying that cartoons, mugs and T-shirts of the mascot around the campus were examples of stereotyping, and should not be tolerated.

    The committee said it approves of the new design, the Desert Sun reported.

    A final resolution is expected to be announced publicly in the near future.