A public school in Jackson, Mississippi, named after former Confederate President Jefferson Davis will be renamed after former President Barack Obama, according to The Clarion-Ledger.
The Clarion-Ledger on Wednesday reported that the change was announced during the Jackson Public Schools (JPS) Board of Trustees meeting the night before.
Davis Magnet IB PTA President Janelle Jefferson said at the meeting that school stakeholders voted on Oct. 5 to rename the school Barack Obama Magnet IB.
“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 JPS board.
“[The school community wanted] to reflect a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves,” Jefferson added.
JPS Board President Camille Simms said “I wholeheartedly agree with the name” after hearing the proposed change.
A demographic breakdown of Davis Magnet’s enrollment for the 2017 school year lists 98 percent of the school’s students as black.
Ninety-seven percent of the students enrolled in the JPS system overall are also black, according to The Clarion-Ledger.
JPS Board attorney Dorian Turner on Tuesday confirmed that the renaming would be capable of taking place for the 2018-19 school year.
Jefferson added that the school and other partners – such as corporate sponsors – are expected to raise costs for the actual swap.
Davis served as the president of the Confederacy from 1862 to 1865, leading it during the Civil War.
Obama made history as America’s first black president in 2008, leaving office in January after two terms.