TODAY   |  November 16, 2013

Is ‘Arab’ high school mascot offensive?

An Arab-American rights group has taken issue with the mascot of a California high school, which they say is discriminatory. NBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a mascot at a southern california school is coming under fire this morning and craig has more on that story on for us.

>> erica, this is the mascot for this high school . one group is calling it an intolerable stereotype and asking the moss cot be changed. last night the members from the community and the school met to talk about it.

>> the mascot looks like a villain, like an angry arab with a hook nose and a beard.

>> not like they are saying anything to denigrate but it was actually to honor.

>> reporter: the mascot is under the bright lights. the school board held an emergency meeting in california last night discussing whether the mascot is a hurtful stereotype or a time-honored representative of the school's history and pride.

>> someone says i'm offended, then we should listen.

>> our citizens are very proud of who we are and we will continue to fight of the mascot change.

>> reporter: early this month the adc sent the school district a letter saying it was appalled by the mascot.

>> you could have individuals that probably never meet an arab or an arab american and their own exposure is what they see on a billboard or what they see in a certain film or tv show .

>> reporter: from disney's "aladdin" to "back to the future." mid east scholars have complained about stereotypes in popular culture. the same issue is playing out on the in the stage off the washington redskins football team . the arab mascot goes back to the 1930s .

>> we were always very proud to use the mascot as our arab and we have changed it two other times jo times.

>> we do respect the history of the area. we do respect the ties to the region.

>> reporter: no decision was reached last night but compromise seems to be in the air.

>> the fact that the name has been taken off the table, we got to keep the name. everyone kind of agrees, though, that the mascot may need a facelift.

>> reporter: any changes could be decided as soon as a news conference on tuesday and when officials plan to meet again.

>> interesting to see what they