Amerkan-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

November 1,2013 Via First Class Mail Dr. Danyl S. Adams Superintendent Coachella Valley Unified SchoolDistrict 87225Church Street Thermal, C492274 Re: Coachella Valley High School Dear Dr. Adams: I am writing to you on behalf of the American-ArabAnti-Discrimination Committee(ADC), the country's largest Arab-American civil rights organization.ADC has protectedthe Arab-American community for over thirty yearsagainstdefamation, discrimination,racism,and stereotyping. The purpose of this letter is to expressADC's concem over the use of the term "Arab" as the official nickname,mascotand logo of the CoachellaValley High School. ADC understands the context in which the nicknamewas initially selected. However,in the 21st Century,suchjustificationsfor theseactionsare no longertolerable. ADC is appalledat the use of a caricature depictedto be an "Arab" as the official mascotof the high school. The image of the CoachellaValley High School mascotdepictsa man with a large nose,heavy beard,and wearing a Kffiay, or traditional Arab head covering. It has come to our attention that during sporting events, and school functions, a studentdressedas this figure, makes an appearance. Many videos on YouTube clearly show orientaliststereotyping of Arabs. During half-time showsat sporting events,the "Arab male" comes out to music, while a female dressedas a belly dancer entertainshim. Further, the gymnasium has the face of an "Arab" caricaturein the middle of the basketball court, as well as aroundthe walls. Outsideof the building, an"Arab" on a carpetis depicted,with a woman next to him. All these are examples of gross stereotyping, which must not be tolerated, and must immediately be ADC stronglybelievesthat use of the word and suchimageryperpetuates demeaning stereotypes addressed. of Arabs and Arab Americans. The "Arab" mascot image is a harmful form of ethnic stereotypingwhich should be eliminated. By allowing continued use of the term and imagery, you are commending and of an entire ethnic group, millions of whom are citizens of this nation. enforcing the negative stereotypes ADC encourages CoachellaValley High Schooland the CoachellaValley Unified SchoolDistrict to give this important matter proper attention.As the nation's premier civil rights organizationfor Arab Americans, ADC extendsan offer to meet and discussthis matter further. It is our hope that a swift and amicable solutioncan be reached to resolvethis issue.

Amerkan-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

I look forward to You can contact me directly at the offrce, 202-644-6190,or via e-mail to aa),oub@adc.ors. your anticipatedcooperation.

Sincerely,

. Ayoub,Esq. ADC irector of Legal& PolicyAffairs
A

CC:
CoachellaValley Unified SchoolDistrict Board Members: Lowell Kamper, President of Board Manuel Jarvis-Martinez, Vice President of Board Meagan Caress,Clerk of Board JuanitaD. Duarte, Member of Board Anna Lisa Vargas,Member of Board Joe Murillo, Memberof Board Maria G. Machuca,Member of Board Victor Uribe, Principle - Coachella Valley High School Warren David, ADC President ADC Legal Department

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