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California school board to hold special meeting on debate over Arab mascot

Arab_Mascot.jpg

FILE 2005: Coachella Valley High School's mascot dances to the band during a pep rally at the school in Thermal, Calif.AP/The Desert Sun, Marilyn Chung

A special meeting will be held to discuss the growing controversy over a Southern California high school's longstanding Arab mascot.

The Desert Sun reports Tuesday that the Coachella Valley Unified School Board had planned to address the issue at a regular Nov. 21 meeting, but decided to hold a special meeting Friday to allow more time for discussion.

Coachella Valley High School's mascot has been around since the 1920s. It was chosen to recognize the area's reliance on date farming, traditionally a Middle Eastern crop. The mascot has evolved from a turban-wearing horseman carrying a lance to a standing figure with a snarl on its face and sporting a headscarf.

Recently, an anti-discrimination group demanded that the school get rid of the mascot.

Superintendent Darryl Adams said the mascot was never intended to ridicule anyone.

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