Michael’s Name Shines Once Again!
“I’m deeply touched and honored.. The auditorium is dedicated in my honor.. Children are our future.”- Michael Jackson, October 11, 1989
For seven years, the gleaming silver letters that once proclaimed the Michael Jackson Auditorium at Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood were hidden behind white plywood boards.
The boards had been placed there to cover his name shortly after MJ was falsely accused on suspicion of child molestation in 2003. Since his death last year, fans had rallied for the restoration of the sign, which they saw as a symbol of Jackson’s legacy.
Now, Michael Jackson’s name gleams again!
Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines ordered the boards stripped away “in recognition of Michael Jackson’s musical legacy and contribution to modern culture.”
A school district spokesman said the decision was made in large part because Jackson had been acquitted of criminal charges in the molestation case and proven innocent.
Michael Jackson was briefly enrolled as a student at Gardner Street Elementary. In 1969, he and his family moved to Los Angeles from Gary, Indiana, so that Jackson and his brothers could make a record with Motown.
Michael Jackson was an 11-year-old sixth-grader at the school when the Jackson 5 released their debut album, a smash hit that foreshadowed Jackson’s record-breaking solo career.
The Gardner auditorium was dedicated to Michael Jackson on October 11, 1989. He was present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, where the school’s choir sang “We Are the World,” a tune Jackson co-wrote.
An illustration of Jackson’s face was posted in the auditorium in 1989, and a picture depicting the singer surrounded by children was hung in the main office. Michael also autographed his classroom door during the ceremony.
Katherine Jackson made a statement through her grandson Taj Jackson on October 15, 2010:
“After a number of heartfelt conversations between me, my grandson Taj, family friend Jodi Gomes, and LAUSD, I am overwhelmed that the school will proudly bear my son’s name on its auditorium once again. This could not have been done without the tireless dedication of my son’s fans and specifically the wonderful members of the “Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign”
~ Michael at Gardner Elementary, October 11, 1989:
LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE:
MICHAEL JACKSON’S NAME ON DISPLAY AGAIN AT GARDNER SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
Elementary School’s Most Famous Alum Recognized for His Musical Legacy
October 15, 2010
Los Angeles — The silver, foot-high letters gleam once again, proclaiming The Michael Jackson Auditorium at Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood. It is the last public school attended by Jackson—then an 11-year-old sixth grader — who was the lead in a singing group with his brothers. Three months after school started, Motown released their debut album “Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5.” And, the young entertainer was on his way to becoming an international star.
“It’s important for the District to value the artistic impact and humanitarian contribution that will be the lasting legacy of Michael Jackson,” said Los Angeles School Board member Steven Zimmer. I’m happy that we will be recognizing and appreciating Michael’s LAUSD moment.”
The sign was originally unveiled at the then newly-refurbished auditorium in 1989. However, when the King of Pop was charged with child molestation, the sign was covered with layered board. For the record, the entertainer was never convicted. After his death last year fans began a campaign to have his name revealed.
At the direction of Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines, the tribute was uncovered today.
“In recognition of Michael Jackson’s musical legacy and contribution to modern culture I have directed our maintenance and operations department to remove the layered board covering the tribute to Mr. Jackson at Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood,” said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
Im sure you are smiling today Michael, as brightly as you smiled on that day your name was first placed on the auditorium. We smile with you.. With pride and honor. We Love You!!