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

Isa Foltin  Getty Images

Isa Foltin Getty Images

According to Janelle Jefferson, the Davis Magnet School PTA president, it's a change the Confederate president himself might have endorsed.

Davis IB Elementary School will be renamed next school year. The school's student body is 98 percent black.

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

The school PTA took suggestions for a new name from parents, students and employees, Jefferson said.

It's unknown how expensive the name change will be, she said. The Davis community had two weeks to submit their suggestions, and voted for their candidate of choice on October 5 using paper ballots, she said. The decision to name the school after Obama was made on October 6.

She said students are "extremely excited" about having their school named for the former president. Barack Obama Magnet IB emerged as the clear winning name.

The name change will go into effect for the 2018-19 school year. The school sits across the street from the childhood home of renowned writer Eudora Welty, who once attended class there, according to the district website.

Instead of being referred to as Davis Magnet IB, the campus will now be known as Barack Obama Magnet IB, or International Baccalaureate. "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". He served as president of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

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. "Having a school where there was input from parents, teachers and students - along with the school board - it seems like a model for how these decisions should be approached across the country".

Latest News