Mississippi elementary school changing its name from Jefferson Davis to Obama

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi school is shedding the name of the Confederacy’s only president and will instead be named for the first African-American president of the United States.

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

The school, which has a 98 percent African-American enrollment, is set to be renamed for Barack Obama in the next academic year, in a move proposed by parents and approved by a majority of students, parents, faculty and staff members.

The PTA president, Janelle Jefferson, announced the planned change at a school board meeting Tuesday.

“The students had overwhelming support for President Obama,” Jefferson told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“The school community wanted to rename the campus to reflect a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves,” CBS Jackson affiliate WJTV quotes her as saying.



About 96 percent of students in Jackson Public Schools are African-American.

Jed Oppenheim, a school board member, said people have been asking for years why three schools in a majority African-American district are still named for Confederate figures. In mid-September, the board authorized the PTA at each of the three schools to set new names. The change from Davis to Obama is the only one approved so far.