Jefferson Davis school in Jackson, Miss., will be renamed for Barack Obama

Oct. 18, 2017
Board decides to remove the name of the Confederate president from a school with a student population that is overwhelmingly African American.

A Jackson, Miss., elementary named for Confederate President Jefferson Davis will have its name replaced next year with the another president whose character students, parents and teachers have said is more fitting— Barack Obama.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports that Davis Magnet IB Elementary, whose student population is 98 percent black, will become Barack Obama Magnet IB.

PTA President Janelle Jefferson announced the change Tuesday night at the Jackson Public Schools board meeting.

“Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him,” she told the board.

Jefferson says the school community decided to rename the campus “to reflect a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves.”

“I wholeheartedly agree with the name,” said Board President Camille Simms.

Board members decided last month to delegate their naming authority to PTA groups at three schools —Davis Magnet, George Elementary and Lee Elementary, all named for Confederate leaders.

There are still logistics to work out, and Jefferson says the school and other partners, such as corporate sponsors, are expected to raise costs for the actual name change.

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