On Tuesday evening, a predominately black Mississippi elementary school announced that it would be changing its name from “Jefferson Davis” to “Barack Obama.”
The announcement was made during a Schools Board of Trustees meeting by Davis Magnet IB PTA President Janelle Jefferson.
“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,” she told the board.
She went on to say that the school should be named after former president Barack Obama “to reflect a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves.”
“I wholeheartedly agree with the name,” said Board President Camille Simms.
The board members had been spurred into action because of concerns that Tuesday’s meeting might be their last for some time. The state Board of Education had requested in September that JPS be declared in a state of emergency, which would mean the state, under Gov. Phil Bryant, would take over the school.
However, the name change is still set to take place for the 2018-19 school year. All that is left is to work out the logistics of the change, with the school and corporate sponsors expected to raise money for the change.