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Coachella Valley Arabs nickname draws ire of anti-discrimination group

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A California high school is drawing criticism from Arab-American groups that call the school's athletic nickname "demeaning" and "offensive."

According to a report from KESQ-TV in Palm Springs, Calif., Coachella Valley High School received a letter from the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee complaining that the school's nickname, "The Arabs," and the accompanying mascot, "perpetuates demeaning stereotypes of Arabs and American Arabs."

In the letter, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee writes that it is "appalled" by the school's mascot, a caricature of an Arab man with a large nose and a beard wearing a keffiyeh. Also mentioned in the letter is the school's traditional halftime show, in which the mascot is entertained by a belly-dancer.

"We're very sensitive to that and how we're going to work to make sure, maybe sometimes you should have some consultations when we're working with other groups and cultures," the California school district's superintendent Darryl Adams said.

Find out more from KESQ-TV.

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