As the nation takes necessary efforts to shed itself of white supremacy affiliation, a Mississippi school is doing the work by shedding the name of the Confederacy’s only president and changing it to honor the first Black president of the United States.
The Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School in Jackson will be renamed in honor of Barack Obama at the start of the 2018-19 school year. The three-week renaming process included suggestions for new names from students and parents alike.
“The school community wanted to rename the campus to reflect a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves,” PTA president Janelle Jefferson said at a Tuesday evening meeting of the district’s board of trustees.
The Mississippi magnet school has a strict admissions process based on testing, and holds the title of top academic performer of all elementary and middle schools in the state for 2016-17. The school has 98% African American enrollment.
“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 be enslaved named after him,” Jefferson told the board of trustees.
Jefferson said the PTA will do “some very aggressive fundraising campaigns” to pay for the new signs, stationary, and other items needed for the name change to Barack Obama International Baccalaureate Elementary School.