Is renaming schools named after Confederates worth the cost?

Jill Teitelbaum, guest columnist What’s in a name? According to a growing number of people, some names can cause emotional distress warranting their removal. As such, there has been a recent push towards removing Confederate names and memorials across the country. The latest case involves a public school in Jackson, Mississippi. Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School is set to be renamed Barack Obama Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary School beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. The school is named after Jefferson Davis who was president of the Confederacy and a vocal supporter of slavery. According to the Civil War Trust, he was a slaveholder and operated his own cotton plantation in Mississippi. It’s understandable that people would be made uncomfortable by his memorialization by a school period, let alone one whose population is 98 percent black. Removing the names of Confederates is well-intentioned and replacing them with the names of progressive role models is laudable. However, the staggering costs associated with these changes requires a serious look at their feasibility, and more importantly, their opportunity cost. Although the exact cost of the Davis name change is unclear, the costs for similar initiatives across the country range from $100,000 to over $1 million. For many of the schools involved, the amounts proposed to rebrand them could be desperately used elsewhere. Mississippi is hardly an exception. According to the state Department of...

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Twitter warrior of the West Wing

Calm. Collected. Eloquent. These words may bring to mind many orators and leaders, but they certainly don’t bring to mind a certain fiery and impulsive one: President Donald J. Trump. Whether someone supports President Trump or not, most will agree that he’s not afraid to speak his mind. His unfiltered thoughts, most clearly displayed through his personal Twitter account, manage to excite and enrage hundreds of thousands of people simultaneously. Apart from revealing his hotheadedness, and that even presidents misspell words, there are two special, underappreciated aspects of this: Transparency and engagement. Trump’s mistakes and outbursts show authenticity. There...

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