Published: Thu, October 19, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

A Mississippi School Named for Jefferson Davis Is Being Renamed After Obama

A Mississippi School Named for Jefferson Davis Is Being 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. Well, the students at Jefferson Davis Magnet School in MS know what that's like. Instead, they'll attend one named after America's first black commander-in-chief: Barack Obama.

According to Mississippi Today, the magnet school named after Jefferson Davis, the senator who became the first President of the Confederate States of America, has chose to change its name.

Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School in Jackson was named decades ago for Jefferson Davis.

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

The board's attorney, Dorian Turner, was unsure at the time if they had the legal power to change the schools' names. The president of the school's Parent-Teacher Association told the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees on Tuesday night (Oct. 17) that "school stakeholders" voted to change the school's name to Barack Obama Magnet IB. Students from each class at the school gave presentations on their favorite pick.

Davis Magnet School became an worldwide baccalaureate school in 2005 and was ranked first among Mississippi's 403 elementary schools in September based on 2016 test scores by SchoolDigger.com.

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The push to rename the school became urgent after the state Board of Education requested Gov. Phil Bryant to declare a state of emergency for JPS in September 2017. "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 names of famous confederate leaders, meanwhile, can be found on campuses across the state. Most have predominantly black student bodies.

"I wholeheartedly agree with the name", said Board President Camille Simms.

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