NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Birdville ISD board of trustees has voted to change the Rebel mascot at Richland High School.

A special meeting was held by the board Friday after criticism surrounding the school’s Rebel mascot and imagery over Confederate themes.

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A petition calling to “Abolish Confederate Branding at Richland High School” has garnered over 26,000 signatures on

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Friday’s vote will allow for the removal of the mascot and other associated images and for the selection process for a new mascot to begin.

“Richland High School students, staff and alumni have a rich history of doing great things in our community and around the world,” said Jack McCarty, Board president and 1980 graduate of Richland High School. “Our school’s history should be based on people and not divisive symbols.”

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The district said “some modifications will be made in and around the campus immediately.” But it did warn it could take up to a year to complete the transition.