Mascot meeting on Friday

Coachella Valley Arabs mascot under fire

Thermal - The Coachella Valley Unified School District will hold a special board meeting Friday to discuss Coachella Valley High School's ``Arab'' mascot, which recently drew fire from a national anti-discrimination group.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the school's gym, according to the school district.

On Nov. 1, the Washington, D.C.-based Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee sent a letter to the district stating that the group was ``appalled'' by the mascot, depicted as ``a man with a large nose, heavy beard, and wearing ... a traditional Arab head covering'' at school functions and sporting events.

The letter also referred to a girl dressed as a belly dancer who appears during halftime shows.

``These are examples of gross stereotyping, which must not be tolerated, and must immediately be addressed,'' the letter stated.

The group also posted a petition on its website asking the district to address the matter.

The controversy comes as the owner of the Washington Redskins football team has faced criticism from a Native American nation and others forĀ  continuing to use the name.

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