School to ditch Confederate namesake, renamed after Obama

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The decision to rename the school in Jackson, Mississippi comes as areas in the South engage in heated debates over tributes to Confederate leaders.

The school PTA took suggestions for a new name from parents, students and employees, Jefferson said.

President Barack Obama speaks at Goalkeepers 2017, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 20, 2017 in New York City.

A predominantly black school in MS named after Confederate president Jefferson Davis is ditching its name and replacing it with Barack Obama's.

Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School in Jackson was named decades ago for Jefferson Davis.

"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 Janelle Jefferson at a meeting with the Jackson Public Schools (JPS) Board of Trustees on October 17. Critics of the school names and statues say they are accolades to the region's racist past, while supporters assert they represent history and should be preserved.

Students from every class researched and gave presentations about their candidates at an assembly before the vote, Jefferson said.

The change will officially go into effect before the 2018-2019 school year, the Clarion-Ledger reports. The decision to name the school after Obama was made on October 6. It also states that a "facility named to honor a person shall not be renamed except for compelling reasons".

It's unknown how expensive the name change will be, she said. Most have predominantly black student bodies. It had previously been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and consistently receives "A" ratings from the Mississippi Department of Education, Jefferson told McClatchy.

"Our parents are movers and shakers, so I know that we can rise to the occasion to raise those funds to make sure we can implement the name change", she said.

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