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HALTOM CITY (CBS 11 NEWS) – The battle over confederate symbols at a North Texas school district is stirring up a heated debate.

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A big crowd is expected Thursday night at the Birdville Independent School District headquarters in Haltom City. A group is pushing for the removal of all confederate symbols.

The president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Reverend Kyev Tatum says this is long overdue. He’s pushing for change at Richland High School — where the names “Rebels,” “Dixie Belles,” and “Johnny Rebel” are used for mascots.

The civil rights group says the symbols are impacting minority students.

Last week dozens gathered at Birdville ISD headquarters in support of the high school mascot names.

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Tatum is calling for an economic boycott of Tarrant County if the district doesn’t remove any references to the confederate symbols. He says he wants businesses to think about relocating and contributing financially to the county. “No conventions, no speedway, no sponsorship of bowl games. No economic development.”

The group has filed state and federal complaints with the Texas Commissioner of Education and the US Secretary of Education and want some kind of intervention.

The board meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. in the Birdville ISD Administration Building board room. The school headquarters are located at 6125 East Belknap, Haltom City, 76117.

A spokesperson with the district says the topic of the confederate symbols is not on the agenda, but people can share their thoughts during the public comment portion of the meeting.

No action or decision is expected.

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