Obama's Name to Replace Jefferson Davis' on Mississippi School

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Mississippi school named after Jefferson Davis to change name to ...

Davis Magnet International Baccalaureate PTA President Janelle Jefferson announced at the Jackson, Mississippi Public Schools Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday evening that school stakeholders voted to rename the elementary school Barack Obama Magnet International Baccalaureate, Mississippi's Clarion-Ledger newspaper reported.

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

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.

Davis Magnet School had been named for Davis since it opened in the 1930s or 1940s, but a recent conversation between a mother and daughter, who attends the school, about the Confederate leader sparked new interest in changing the name, Jefferson told McClatchy. Students from each class at the school gave presentations on their favorite pick.

The final vote was cast by paper ballot on October 5. The decision to name the school after Obama was made on October 6.

Jefferson said the PTA solicited requests for names during a September 21 meeting.

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.

The name change comes as leaders of the school district in Mississippi's capital city are reconsidering Confederate names on three campuses. Thankfully, one school in Jackson, Mississippi is making progress.

The past few years have seen a resurgence in condemning reappraisals of flags, statues and other memorials honoring the more famous members of the Confederate States of America. Most have predominantly black student bodies.

"I wholeheartedly agree with the name", Board President Camille Simms said Tuesday night. "They could relate to Barack Obama because of his achievements, because he looks like them", Jefferson said.

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