An elementary school in Jackson, Mississippi is being renamed after former President Barack Obama. It is currently named Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School. It is named after Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.
RELATED: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
While naming schools after former presidents of our country is not a new phenomenon, this will draw some controversy regarding the recent insurgence to remove all things Confederacy in the United States. Given the controversial nature of the divisiveness of the Obama presidency, the choice will also be controversial.
Various media outlets reported that the renaming of the school was a move facilitated by parents at the school. It was a three-week process A vote was taken, and the name of Barack Obama was approved by a majority of the students, parents, and faculty.
School District is 96% African-American
The school has a demographic of 98 percent African-American. Understandably, the name of Jefferson Davis did not sit well with a majority of parents and personnel. The name was chosen initially decades ago.
On Tuesday, Janelle Jefferson, the PTA president, announced the name change at a school board meeting. “The students had overwhelming support for President Obama,” she told the Associated Press.
The future Barack Obama Elementary School is the top academic performer of all non-high schools in Mississippi for 2016-2017 Fox News reported. It is an academic magnet school with required testing to gain admission. It offers a rigorous curriculum with the highest state rankings in academic performance.
Recent Trend to Erase All Confederacy Reminders
The current trend to erase the Confederacy from all public buildings, parks, schools, and monuments contributed to the desired name change. There have been requests to change the names of the schools in the Jackson Public Schools District to change the names of the schools named after Confederates. Last month, the school board authorized the PTA to choose new names for 3 of the schools currently named after Confederates. The two other schools are George Elementary whose namesake denied voting rights to African-Americans and Lee Elementary named after Robert E. Lee. Jackson Public Schools is nearly 96% African-American.
While the reports of the name change drew the expected anger on different social media platforms, any person angered should take pause. The renaming of this school from a Confederate president is a different scenario altogether from the statue removal controversy that occurred over the summer. The name change to an American president should not be a polarizing issue – even if it is after a polarizing president such as Obama. While it can be argued his administration did not advance many American ideals and instituted a great deal of socialism into our country, when it comes down to it, the name of an American president is superior to the name of a Confederate.
Many Schools Named After Lackluster Presidents
Regardless of one’s personal opinions towards the Obama presidency, presidents get schools named after them. It is a tradition carried out in the public education system in our country. Many of our past presidents have schools named after them. A lot of them are named after presidents that were not considered anything exemplary.
There is a school named after presidents James A. Garfield, who served four months as president before his assassination. There are schools named after former president Chester A. Arthur, who succeeded Garfield and finished out his term. Other examples of such non-noteworthy presidents with schools named after them include James K. Polk, James Buchanan, and Warren G. Harding. There is even a school named after former president William Henry Harrison. His presidential term was 30 days – until his death from pneumonia.
Presidents get schools named after them. It is a perk of the job. Fret not over an elementary school’s name being changed from honoring Jefferson Davis to honoring Barack Obama. Celebrate the fact that an American president is being honored over a Confederate president – even if that president was as divisive and polarizing as Barack Obama.