A School Named After Jefferson Davis Will Be Renamed After Obama

Terry Joseph
October 19, 2017

More than a dozen schools have been named after Obama across the country, but as Education Week reported in January, most are primarily black and Latino, urban, and on the coasts.

The school PTA took suggestions for a new name from parents, students and employees, Jefferson said. Barack Obama Magnet IB emerged as the clear winning name.

According to Jackson Public Schools Executive Director of Public and Media Relations, the school will be renamed in honor of the 44th president, Barack Obama. "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 Jackson Public Schools Board.

Johnson said the name of the school would change in the 2018-2019 school year.

Jefferson informed trustees Tuesday that the school community had voted in favor of the new name October 5.

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Students from every class researched and gave presentations about their candidates at an assembly before the vote, Jefferson said.

About 98 percent of current Davis students are black, Jefferson said.

It's unknown how expensive the name change will be, she said.

Davis Magnet School became an global baccalaureate school in 2005 and was ranked first among Mississippi's 403 elementary schools in September based on 2016 test scores by SchoolDigger.com. "It's important not just in the symbolism of an elementary school, but here we're having a real genuine examination of our history in an elementary school - within the broader school system in Jackson - which is exactly where it needs to happen". Davis was the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The students, parents and teachers believe the new name is more fitting for the predominantly black school.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump ignited controversy when he compared the removal of Mr Lee's statue to one of George Washington - three days after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville erupted into deadly violence.

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