Education

Mississippi School to be Named After Former President Barack Obama

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A predominantly African American school in Mississippi will be getting a new name. Named after confederate soldier, Jefferson Davis, the Davis Magnet IB School will be stripped of its old moniker and renamed after former President Barack Obama.

After a vote that took place earlier this month, the Jackson School Board voted to change the name to Barack Obama Magnet IB. According to The Clarion-Ledger, the demographic breakdown of Davis Magnet’s 2017 enrollment shows 98% of the students are African American – while 97% of Jackson Public Schools enrollment is African American.

“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,” Davis Magnet IB PTA President Janelle Jefferson said.

Jefferson said the name-change is meant 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,” Camille Simms, Board President said.

The name-change comes during a time where several states in the US are sparking the debate over the removal of Confederate statues, with some cities deciding to take the statues down. The issue of the statue removal was at the center of a violent protest that took place earlier this year.

Back in August, white supremacists and the Alt-right planned to protest the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a local park. The protest quickly turned deadly after a vehicle slammed through a group of counter-protestors leaving nineteen people hospitalized and the tragic death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

The new name won’t go into effect until the 2018-2019 school year, as the school and other partners –such as corporate partners – are looking to raise cost to change the name.

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