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In a special school district meeting, Coachella Valley High School voted to keep their "Arab" name and mascot, but the school district will discuss revisions to the campus mascot with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) this week.

The ADC sent a letter to the school in early November to complain about the use of an Arab man caricature as the high school mascot - an angry looking man with one tooth and wearing a traditional Arab headdress. ADC told the school that keeping such nicknames and mascot means the school is, "commending and enforcing the negative stereotypes of an entire ethnic group."

In response, the school district held the special meeting to vote on the issue on Friday night. Administrators and alumni defended the name saying it was never meant to be offensive and is actually to honor the ties to Middle Eastern date industry with this southern part of California that go back almost 100 years.  "(Changing) the name "Arab" is no longer on the table. It is a name we will keep," said Coachella Valley Unified Superintendent Darryl Adams.

A local Coachelle news paper reports that the ADC launched an online petition demanding the school abandons the Arab mascot and that less than 1,000 have signed the petition.

A news conference is planned for Tuesday afternoon to discuss the issue.  Illume media reached out to the ADC but have recieved a response as of this posting.


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