In Jackson, Mississippi, there's a predominantly Black elementary school bearing the name of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, but not for much longer. The Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School will now be named after the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama.
The idea to change the name was proposed by a student. Teachers, parents, school staff, and the student body, which is 98 percent Black, voted on October 5, and a day later, it was confirmed that the school will be renamed after Obama. Before the votes were cast, students gave presentations about their candidates at an assembly.
"They know who (Davis) was and what he stood for," said Janelle Jefferson, who is the Davis IB Elementary School PTA president. "This has a great impact on them, because (Obama) is who they chose out of anybody else they could. This is the person that the whole school supported. He was their Number One choice."
The 44th U.S. president "fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves, " said Jefferson.
Photo via: Screengrab
Next school year, Davis Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary will be renamed Barack Obama Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary. It will become the 22nd school in the nation named after Obama.
"Every generation has a right to choose how it represents itself," said Jake McGraw, public policy coordinator the University of Mississippi's William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. "Having a school where there was input from parents, teachers and students — along with the school board — it seems like a model for how these decisions should be approached across the country."
This just goes to show that you're never too young (or too old) to make a difference. Cheers to the next generation of leaders.