The "Arab" danced and the crowd cheered, brimming with school pride in spite of a highly publicized mascot controversy, or perhaps because of it.

Hundreds of fans of Coachella Valley High School, most dressed in green and gold, packed into the away stands for a rivalry game against Indio High School on Friday night.

Before kickoff, dozens students posed for pictures with the CV High mascot — a bearded, hook-nosed Arab caricature that has joined a national debate about stereotypes and political correctness.

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