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Equity & Diversity News in Brief

Calif. District Under Fire for ‘Arab’ Mascot

By Bryan Toporek — November 12, 2013 1 min read

A California high school is facing pressure from a national anti-discrimination group over its nickname, the Arabs, and related mascot and logo.

In a letter this month to Coachella Valley Unified district, according to The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee asked that Coachella Valley High School “immediately address” its “orientalist stereotyping of Arabs.” According to the group, the mascot “depicts a man with a large nose, heavy beard, and wearing a Kaffiay, or traditional Arab head covering.”

The mascot, alumni say, was chosen in the 1920s in honor of the area’s reliance on date farming, a Middle Eastern crop. Superintendent Darryl Adams said the issue will be addressed at the Nov. 21 school board meeting.

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A version of this article appeared in the November 13, 2013 edition of Education Week as Calif. District Under Fire for ‘Arab’ Mascot

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