A predominantly black public school in Mississippi named after Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States in the 1860s, will be renamed after former President Barrack Obama, according to a report released Wednesday.
The school stakeholders voted earlier this month at the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees meeting to rename the school Barack Obama Magnet IB, The Clarion-Ledger reported. The school will reportedly be the first in the state of Mississippi to be named after Obama, and one of very few in the southern United States. In mid-September, the board authorized the PTA at each of the three schools to set new names. The change from Davis to Obama is the only one approved so far. The name change, Barack Obama Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary, will take effect at the beginning of next school year.
“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,” said PTA President Janelle Jefferson.
Davis Magnet’s student body is 98 percent African-American. According to Jefferson, former President Barack Obama “fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves.”
The school is near the state Capitol building, and most of its students were born during the eight years Obama was president, starting in 2009. The name change comes amid a debate over the removal of Confederate statues in various cities across the country.
Some cities have decided to take down Confederate statues in their towns.