A School Named After Jefferson Davis Will Be Renamed After Obama


There are two other elementary schools in the district that are named after Confederate leaders, but the school district did not immediately respond to TPM's requests for comment on the status of those schools' names.

State rankings show the magnet school is the top academic performer of all elementary and middle schools in Mississippi. "They could relate to Barack Obama because of his achievements, because he looks like them", Jefferson said.

A Jackson, Mississippi elementary school is ditching its former name honoring the leader of the Confederacy in favor of one that honors the 44th president of the United States.

The school stakeholders of Davis Magnet IB in Jackson, Mississippi, voted earlier this month to change the school's name to Barack Obama Magnet IB.

School buildings must be named "for persons of good character and prominence who have made outstanding contributions to the school system", according to the school board's facility-naming policy.

The board's attorney, Dorian Turner, was unsure at the time if they had the legal power to change the schools' names.

Janelle Jefferson, president of the school's Parent Teacher Association, said the new name will be more fitting for a school with a student population that is 98 percent black.

"We really wanted to know what they thought", Jefferson said.

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

However, the name change is still set to take place for the 2018-19 school year.

According to Mississippi Today, the school's parent-teacher association first asked for name requests during a meeting on September 21.

About 96 percent of students in Jackson Public Schools are African-American.

"Even the kindergartners participated", she said.

Interim board president Camille Stutts-Simms said she approved of the change and described it as a "monumentous move".