MISSISSIPPI (CBSMiami) – A Mississippi magnet school is dropping its Confederate name in favor of the first black president of the United States.
The Davis Magnet School is the pride of the Jackson Public School District. It’s one of the best performing public elementary school in the state.
But for some parents like Ercilla Hendrix, there was still one problem.
“The only problem was the name Jefferson Davis Magnet School,” Hendrix said.
That’s because 98- percent of the students at the school are African-American.
Hendrix’s son, Ty, is a first grader. He did his homework on his school’s namesake.
“Do you know who he is?” CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca asked him.
“President of the Confederacy,” Ty replied. “He wanted slaves.”
Ty’s older sister, Farah, who also went to Davis, wrote a letter and started a campaign.
“How did you react when you heard the change?” Villafranca asked.
“I was excited, it was a dream come true for me,” she said.
The school board let parents decide on a new name.
PTA President Janelle Jefferson let the littlest voices cast the biggest vote.
“Overwhelmingly the parents and the students vote support for President Obama,” she said.
Starting in 2018, the Jefferson Davis Magnet School will become the Barack Obama Magnet School.
At least 109 public schools across the country still bear the names of rebel leaders like Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.
Almost a quarter of those schools have a majority of African-American students.
“And when folks say, ‘Where did you go?’ You will say?” Villafranca asked Farah.
“I will say I went Barack Obama Elementary School,” she responded.
A name these students and parents say they can all be proud of.