THERMAL (CBS/AP) — Coachella Valley High School has retired a controversial Arab mascot.
The hook-nosed, snarling mascot who wears a head scarf did not appear at the school’s season opening football game Friday. A belly-dancing genie that often appears with the mascot was also retired.READ MORE: Federal Court Strikes Down Judge’s Order To Provide Housing To All Skid Row Homeless
The Desert Sun reports the retirement is among the steps the Coachella Valley Unified School District is taking to give the mascot a makeover.
The Arab mascot has existed since the 1920s to recognize the desert region’s reliance on date farming, a traditionally Middle Eastern crop. It came under fire last November when the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee complained that the mascot was stereotypical.
The school district refused to change the school’s “Arabs” nickname, but agreed to redesign the Arab face on the school logo.
The face is still on the school’s welcome sign, gym and website.READ MORE: Smokey Southland Skies Caused By Wildfires Burning In Northern And Central California Spur Air Quality Concerns
The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee calls the removal of the mascot a good first step.
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