School Named After Jefferson Davis Will Be Renamed for Obama

Parents pushed for change at Mississippi schoool
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2017 3:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – A school named after Jefferson Davis is getting a new name: Davis IB Elementary School in Jackson, Miss., is going to honor the nation's first African-American president instead of the Confederacy's president by renaming itself after Barack Obama, Newsweek reports. PTA president Janelle Jefferson says parents had been pushing for weeks to rename the school, which has a student body that is around 98% black. She says she told the Jackson School Board on Tuesday that school stakeholders voted in favor of the change on Oct. 5.

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"Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him," Jefferson told the board, per the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. The board approved the change, which will take effect next year. The push for change was started by a student who realized her "school is named for a person who didn't agree that they should thrive educationally—or any way in life—or really be considered a human being," Jefferson tells the Washington Post. There are now at least 21 schools with the Obama name nationwide, including two named after Michelle Obama. (Read more Mississippi stories.)

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