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.
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.