School named after Jefferson Davis to be renamed after Barack Obama



In September, the board approved a policy that gave the PTA and community the option to rename Jefferson Davis, George and Lee elementary schools. "They could relate to Barack Obama because of his achievements, because he looks like them", Jefferson said. Which explains why a school in MS, which bears the name of the Confederate leader who was later arrested for treason, would be anxious to revamp its moniker.

President Obama reflects a type of person "who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves", according to the school's PTA president.

Officials revealed the new name on Tuesday night, saying school stakeholders had voted to make the change earlier this month.

A demographic breakdown of Davis Magnet for the 2017 school year lists its student population at 98 percent black.

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The school is now named after the late Jefferson Davis.

Board counsel Dorian Turner said the new name will not go into effect until the 2018-19 school year. The school sits across the street from the childhood home of renowned writer Eudora Welty, who once attended class there, according to the district website. The school will now be called the Barack Obama Magnet IB. "Having a school where there was input from parents, teachers and students - along with the school board - it seems like a model for how these decisions should be approached across the country". "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".

The school name change comes amid a national debate over the removal of Confederate statutes in various cities across the U.S. The issue sparked violent protests that received national attention in August in Charlottesville, Va., and resulted in one death.

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