Davis Magnet IB in Jackson, Mississippi, will become Barack Obama Magnet IB in 2018-19 after the school’s PTA and other stakeholders agreed that a predominantly black school should no longer be represented by the president of the Confederate States of America.
“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,” said PTA President Janelle Jefferson.
Davis Magnet’s student body is 98 percent African-American.
According to Jefferson, former President Barack Obama “fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves.”
The school will reportedly be the first in the state of Mississippi to be named after Obama, and one of very few in the southern United States.
While the change is a cause for celebration to the school’s students and staff, the district as a whole is facing major issues.
An 18-month investigative audit revealed that Jackson Public Schools, the second-largest district in the state, failed to meet 24 out of 32 accreditation standards.
As a result, the Mississippi Board of Education requested that the district be declared to be in a state of emergency.
If Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signs off on that, the state will take over the district and disband the JPS school board. State and local officials have said they will fight the state board’s decision.
(H/T The Clarion-Ledger)