A dominantly black public school in MS named after Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States in the 1860s, will be renamed after former President Barrack Obama, according to a report released Wednesday. Such a ruling would result in state control of the schools, meaning that the board of trustees would not meet for a while, The Clarion-Ledger reports.
The Obama name change comes as schools, churches and municipalities across the country drop Confederacy-affiliated labels from their buildings and remove Confederate statues from public spaces. "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 Jackson Public Schools Board.
"They know who [Davis] was and what he stood for", she said.
Students from every class researched and gave presentations about their candidates at an assembly before the vote, Jefferson said. "A facility named to honor a person shall not be renamed except for compelling reasons". The students, parents and teachers believe the new name is more fitting for the predominantly black school.
During the 2016-17 school year, the last for which enrollment figures are available, JPS' student population was 96 percent black.
"Even the kindergartners participated", she said.
"I wholeheartedly agree with the name", Board President Camille Simms said Tuesday night.
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