The Chicago-area Thomas Jefferson Middle School has changed its plans to rename the location to Barack and Michelle Obama Middle School, choosing to honor civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis instead.
The switch took place after local Latino groups opposed the change to Barack and Michelle Obama Middle School. The concerns focused on the former president’s record of deporting illegal immigrant, according to Fox News.
“I think [Obama] was a great president, and he did things to move us forward,” Waukegan School Board President Brandon Ewing said during a school board meeting Tuesday night.
“But just like we’re having the discussion about Thomas Jefferson, all men are flawed, and nobody’s legacies are perfect. I think we have a responsibility to listen to all constituents and weigh that in whatever decision we make.”
Fox News reported, “Three million people were deported during Obama’s eight years in office. A Washington Post report in 2019 found that Obama deported far more in the first three years in office than did President Trump.”
The Obama administration deported 1.18 million people in three years. Under former President Donald Trump, about 800,000 were deported during his first three years.
Five of the seven school board members voted in favor of naming the school after Lewis. The name change will take place on July 1.
The renamed John Lewis Middle School will honor the late Democratic Georgia Congressman. Lewis was known as a civil rights leader, passing June 17, 2020, at 80 years old.