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Controversial mascot, ‘Arab,’ removed from California high school

Several complaints against a California school district have requested the district remove a high school mascot that is seen as offensive. In 2013, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination group told school officials that one of their mascots preserves a stereotype; with the male Arab mascot having a large nose, heavy beard, and wearing a kaffiyeh. The California high school (you mention the district but not the school name. What school specifically is it?) also had a belly-dancer dressed in a genie costume sometimes dance along the mascot during games.

Before the group acted, it spoke with local citizens to gather a poll, and looked at the demographics and history of the area before proceeding. The group’s efforts paid off. The LA Times reported today that the Coachella Valley High School announced last week it would get rid of the Arab mascot.

The school district has planned to hold further discussion panels to address the re-design of the mascot. Over the years the Arab mascot has changed, but it once fit with the neighboring cities.

12 News reported that last Friday during the first season Coachella Valley football game the Arab mascot and its sidekick, the belly-dancing genie, were absent. The school said this just the beginning of many changes to come. However, the mascot design is still painted on the front of the school, and is hosted on their website.

The school said they plan to keep the mascot’s name as Arabs, but change the appearance. Should the school stay clear of all controversy and rename the school with a local known animal?

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