MS school named after Jefferson Davis to be renamed after Barack Obama

19 October, 2017, 01:01 | Author: Devin Moran
  • Isa Foltin  Getty Images

A demographic breakdown of Davis Magnet's enrollment for the 2017 school lists 98 percent of the school's students as black.

For months, parents of students at Davis IB Elementary School, named after General Robert E Lee, fought to rid the school of its Confederate reference in favour of celebrating America's first black president, according to Newsweek.

So, whose name will adorn the school building? The school board, facing an impending takeover by the state over audits that found safety problems and other issues at schools, had earlier authorized PTA groups at three schools named after Confederate leaders to pick new names if they wished, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

The Jackson school would be the 22nd one named after the 44th president, spread across 12 states.

The final vote was cast by paper ballot on October 5.

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.

"They gravitated to that name when it was proposed by a student", Jefferson said.

Instead of being referred to as Davis Magnet IB, the campus will now be known as Barack Obama Magnet IB, or International Baccalaureate.

Board counsel Dorian Turner said the new name will not go into effect until the 2018-19 school year. It had previously been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and consistently receives "A" ratings from the Mississippi Department of Education, Jefferson told McClatchy.

The school appears to be the first named after Obama in MS, and one of the first in the South in general. He served as president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Numerous schools are majority black, according to Education Week.

There are now at least 20 schools across the country that bear the Obama name.


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