Oct 14 2010

‘Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name’ Campaign Secures Place in LAUSD School Board Meeting (UPDATED)

Category: Children,Justice,Photos,VideosSeven @ 4:23 am


This is also posted on the ‘Advocacy‘ tab here, but I want to share some good news with you separately, in regards to this issue because it’s important and it gives us hope!  Please read the latest afternoon update at the bottom too. You’ll be pleased!

Michael was a 6th grade student at Gardner Elementary School back when he was a normal 11-year-old. He attended class there in the daytime and performed as an emerging musical superstar at night with his family group The Jackson Five. In return, Michael adopted his old school by paying the salary for the school’s music teacher, planting memorial rose bushes near the playground, and even leaving his famous signature on the wall of his old 6th grade schoolroom.

In 1989, Gardner Street Elementary named the school auditorium after “the gloved one” with gleaming silver letters across the front of the building that read: “The Michael Jackson Auditorium“.  Michael himself showed up for the unveiling:

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Here is a picture of the auditorium that they named for him.  Beautiful, isn’t it?  Gleaming silver letters!

Gardner School Auditorium
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Now, look what they did to it after the 2003 allegations

MJ Auditorium Covered
and that is how it remains – like the picture above, with Michael’s name boarded up so as not to be seen.

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Aside from the fact that he did a lot for that school, I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it must have been to have them board up his name like that, and to have them continue to keep it covered – EVEN after he was acquitted on EVERY bogus charge against him.

This should simply not be.

They didn’t even rename the auditorium. They just boarded it up and left it that way. That speaks volumes.  Why continue to shame an innocent man like this?

It is beyond time this is changed. A few people have emailed and have been told that it is “under review“, that it is “on the table“. But, it’s time to get it more than “on the table“. Let’s get those boards removed and Michael’s innocent name restored!

To be clear:

We are NOT suggesting any kind of rally. Please DO NOT disrupt this school or do anything crazy. But, we do want to have this changed. It is unfair, it is hurtful, and it is extremely unjust.

Here is how you can help if you want to take action:

JOIN the Facebook page dedicated to this cause. This group has been working VERY hard to try to have this situation rectified. They’ve collected letters in the past and delivered them to school officials.

If you remember, they previously met with Kenneth Urbina, Gardner St. School Principal, and Earl Perkins, Assistant Superintendant, and learned that the holdup was Superintendant Raymond Cortines. In order to state the case for having Michael’s name uncovered, the group learned they must appear before the School Board Committee. The group finally secured a place in one of the board’s committee meetings and the date of that meeting is October 19th!

They have collected many more letters from fans to be delivered to the Committee on October 19th. The official letter count: 2,361. The final group letter count: 5 with a total of 2,572 signatures. All of these will be bound into books and shown to Supt. Cortines and the LAUSD board members during the October 19 Committee of the Whole.

Jennifer Marino will present the letters and speak at the meeting on the 19th. What YOU can do is join their Facebook page and spread the word! They are not collecting more letters at this time but they need your support in other ways. If it is voted to uncover Michael’s name on the 19th, this will be a huge and historical event and we all want to be part of it!

The team has sent this message to fans in regards to the October 19th meeting

We do not advise people to attend the actual meeting at the LAUSD building unless you are one of the official speakers for the campaign. However, if you would like to drop by and watch, please ask for permission from the team first by contacting Jennifer Marino (LA rep) at [email protected] or [email protected].

We do not want fans and supporters to cause a commotion that will jeopardize the chances of being heard and winning the fight. We want to come across as civilized and respectful. If you decide to come, please present yourself as a concerned citizen – i.e. no MJ apparel, no disrespectful signs or banners, no loud rallying and protesting, no shouting in the middle of the meeting at the board room.

The entire board meeting will be streamed live via the LAUSD website or via our Ustream account (links will be posted again few days before the date), so you will be able to see it as it is happening.

Thank you very much and we hope you will consider our requests.

– Uncover MJ Team

UPDATE October 14th, 2010 – afternoon. MORE good news!

Good morning supporters,

I just had another wonderful conversation with Mr. Urbina, the Principal of Gardner Elementary School. First I must thank him greatly for all his support he has shown us from the beginning. He was in support of this before we even contacted him. He is also just a wonderful man and has been nothing but kind, helpful, and a pleasure to talk and work with. I just can not say enough about him.

He did tell me the school just had a Back to School night and they took a vote on having the sign uncovered. Great news!!! They voted YES!!! We thank the school PTA, Teachers, and Parents for their support in this matter. This is really big!!

He also said he did speak to Mr. Cortines, the Superintendent of the LAUSD yesterday. He is anxious to hear what we have to say on the 19th. But I will say the 19th will be big!!

Listen everyone, let me just say that this WILL be done. Our patience and peserverance WILL pay off.

Mr. Urbina also said he was inpressed with how we have conducted ourself in our campaign and comends us all. I have full confidence that all of our hard work and your support will not be in vain. Michael Jackson’s Name WILL BE UNCOVERED!!!

Also just to remind everyone I did post earlier that we were in a TMZ article today. The writer has contacted me and IS a Michael Jackson fan and supports us! I wrote him back my feelings on TMZ, lol, but thanked him for the nice article which was all true. I asked him to mention the campaign’s actual name too.

So much happening that is ALL GREAT!!! So once again, I will tell you all , MICHAEL’S NAME WILL BE UNCOVERED!!!

I really appreciate all of your help and really have much love for you. We would not be where we are today without all of the supporters around the world. Be proud to be part of a wonderful campaign to clear Michael’s name and have it UNCOVERED once and for all!!! We are making HISTORY her for Michael Jackson. Feels great to be a part of it.

Much LOVE, Jennifer Marino

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19 Responses to “‘Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name’ Campaign Secures Place in LAUSD School Board Meeting (UPDATED)”

  1. Doris Gorgo says:

    I agree with Chloe. We should not have had to beg to have Michael’s name uncovered. Didn’t they see what a great person Michael was. He was found innocent of all charges! What is wrong with them. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all of the hard work Jennifer and her team has done. They did a great job. But, Michael’s name should never have been covered in the first place.

  2. Ieva says:

    Ohh it’s very good news! I’m smiling now and I believe, that our beloved Michael is watching us from heaven and smiling! 🙂

  3. Liane says:

    Yes, this still pains me to see that his name is not on that auditorium. Shameful! We can never give up until it appears again. Instead of bickering among ourselves in the fan community we should ban together and fight this for Michael and his legacy! Thanks you for everyone who still cares and is still there for Michael!

    This of ALL for you Michael L.O.V.E

  4. Doris Gorgo says:

    Thank you Jennifer for all the time and effort you have put into this. Wishing you the best on the 19th. We fans WILL clear Michael’s name once and for all. We must stand together and fight for him. (wish that all of this could have been done when he was alive) Michael’s fans are the truest and the best. Together we are one! As Joyce said, I too hope that this will get the media coverage it so deserves. Also the video was great. Michael’s smile is the greatest.

  5. Rosario says:

    To Jennifer Marino and company, we thank you and we are proud of you! Thank you Seven for the update. Please let this truly happen. Any way it goes, we truly are very blessed to have advocates like Jennifer and company.

  6. Ellen says:

    This is just wonderful news and so overdue! I feel that with this event on October 19th, the tides may very well be turning in favor of vindicating Michael’s legacy. A big journey always starts with a first step, and this is a giant first step. I just pray that things start snowballing after this event until all the truth about our angel comes to the fore and the whole world will finally know what Michael was all about. How I miss my sweet angel each and every day. I love you and adore you, Michael, always and forever because there has never been anyone like you on this Earth and there never will be again.

  7. Sina says:

    Seven thanks so much for letting a little sunshine in.
    This is excellent news. Sounds almost too good to be true
    Kudos to the group that accomplished this!!

    This is very significant and historical because this is one of the most visible sign of how Michael was put to shame by ignorant, biased fellow citizens.
    Busloads of tourists pass that place evry day because it is a hot tourist attraction in LA .
    I personally saw it in september when I was in LA for the first time in my life.
    I was horrified and felt as if Michael himself was put on a permanent stand there for the world to see.
    First thing I did back home was finding the postcard website(which is another website than the LA group, I think its a German site)and send them a postcard.
    I understand if some feel its too little too late, but lets not forget its part of Michaels history, a highlight in his life.
    Look how happy and proud he looks. Any smear thats put on his legacy should be erased untill Michaels name is completely cleared.
    Big thanks = Love.

  8. meigadas says:

    I´m very proud of you and very proud for be a little part of this!
    Thank you for your courage, from Spain an amount of energy will be with you on 19th!!

  9. Heidi says:

    I too agree it is way past time to rectify this, and the answer in why we have to beg and petition and rally and fight to clear his name, IMO, is this: The argument that Michael Jackson is innocent because he was aquitted on all fourteen charges just doesn’t work in the minds of most people. It doesn’t work because people are familiar with many who have been aquitted and are completely guilty ie, O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake,…..To know and understand that Michael is innocent is a SOUL response. It’s a KNOWING that bypasses the mental mind completely. It comes from being one with that person for eons of time, not just one brief incarnation.

  10. Joyce says:

    I will definitely be keeping positive thoughts on Oct. 19th!!
    Thank you so much to Jennifer Marino and the “Uncover MJ Team” for all of the tireless work and numerous hours you have put into this campaign to allow Michael’s name to shine brightly on the Gardner School Auditorium once again. It is a travesty of justice that it was ever covered up but will be a wonderful tribute to Michael’s honor and legacy once again when it is finally uncovered. The updated news is extremely encouraging. Thank you to Mr. Urbina as well! I am glad that all of our letters will be delivered to the school board members and Mr. Cortines.
    You and your team have represented Michael with grace, dignity, and honor. I hope that everyone will follow your example and your request for respect and restraint during the Oct 19th meeting. I can’t wait to watch the video of the uncovering ceremony! I wish I could be there in person when it happens (notice I said when, not if). I am feeling very positive! Hope this gets the media coverage it deserves.

    Thanks Seven for providing the udates!! Love that video clip.
    Michael’s smile could light up the world!

  11. appleh says:

    I love that video. Michael was so happy and proud with the kids and teachers honouring him.

    I understand when they covered his name during the trial, because maybe they were influenced by the media like most people. But it is beyond my mind, why the board did not uncover it after his acquittal. This is not only disrespectful against MJ, but also against the law system.

    I hope and pray, that the group will have success with their request and that there will be no “fans” who cannot behave and would destroy all the efforts the group was working for in the last months.

  12. June says:

    It seems many have been involved in this effort for so long and finally some justice may be done. I’ve written and emailed the LA school board many times over the past year as I don’t belong to Facebook and was unaware this group existed. I never received an acknowledgment and do not know what happened to my emails and letters. I hope the Facebook group which personally presents this book of letters to the school board on October 19th also refreshes the school board as to the thousands of “other” communications it has receive on removing those boards over the past year or more from those who are not members of the Facebook group. It all helps…..

  13. cherie says:

    Most people WANTED to believe Michael was guilty.The facts were irrelevant to them. Like the song from the O’Jays says “they smile in your face, all the time they wanna take your place, they’re backstabbers, backstabbers”. Many people (in the American public, music industry, media) praised Michael for his talents during the 80s insincerely (as we can tell by Michael’s abandonment in later life). It was “cool” then to recognize Michael for his success and achievements. Michael was the “safe” black guy who could sing, dance, and didn’t “offend” people. In the late 80s, the tide began to turn on Michael for his “strange, eccentric” behavior, his “crotch grabbing”, his friendship with Bubbles, his gradually lightening skin color, straightened hair, plastic surgery etc. Michael was no longer “safe” because he no longer pushed the image prescribed to him by the industry & America. No wonder Michael performed very few concerts in the U.S. on later tours. After 1993, his reputation was all but destroyed in the U.S. and all his so-called “friends” disappeared. VERY FEW people believed in his innocence, not only because of the media, but because of their own insecurities, fears & repressed jealousy. We saw the viciousness of the media, celebrity community (how ironic) & the public during 2005. Michael became a “child molesting, weird, freakish, drag queen) to greater society. Over 3 decades of humanitarianism, entertainment, hard work, dedication & love Michael brought to the Earth was scoffed at & disregarded. Those people who denigrated Michael feel no remorse. Vicious comments have been made by other celebs, journalists & strangers after his death. Those people should be ashamed.

  14. Michelle says:

    It would be nice if Michael’s name appeared there again. It’s about time because we are still celebrating hsi legacy!

  15. Seven says:

    @Lauren – I agree. It’s past time to rectify this and it would indeed be symbolic in regards to clearing his legacy. Send some good energy towards the group and especially on that day – that the group’s presentation will appeal to board’s highest selves and that the committee will thus be moved to uncover Michael’s name!

  16. Lauren says:

    It would be wonderful to have the School Board agree to
    uncover Michael’s name. It is way past time. Thank you
    to those who are responsible for organizing this effort and
    those who will be at the Board meeting to speak about this.

    More than uncovering Michael’s name on a school building, this
    action could and would symbolize the movement as a whole to
    clear his name and heal his legacy. It would make a statement
    that it is time for the noise to stop and the truth about this
    man to be front and center.

  17. Tania says:

    This is wonderful news!

    Well done to all involved who have been working tirelessly on this very important campaign to bring it to this significant point in time.

    Lets hope and pray that the school board commitee listens and acts appropriately in this matter.
    It is high time this wrong was righted for Michael.

    Loved that YT clip! How adorable is Michael! And all the beautiful children singing his song.

  18. Simona says:

    This is really good news and let’s hope it turns out for the best – it’s about time…. This is one of the most intollerable displays of willful ignorance, imho. Thank you to all those who’ve been working so hard to right this wrong…. I’m so proud to be one of those who sent a letter, it’s such a small gesture from us but when we come together we are a force to be reckoned with 🙂

    You know, looking at this video here (or the long video version of that day) is so hard. Michael was literally Glowing with pride and gratitude and joy, he was So happy, with all those smiling little faces around him and his old teachers and everything…. really it is unthinkable the pain he must have felt when they put that hideous plywood on his name…. unthinkable. How could they be so quick at forgetting, not only the material aides they received from Michael, but just the pure Goodness emenating from him on that special day. How could they doubt him?
    Michael, sweet angel, what you had to go through…. forgive us….

  19. Chloe says:

    Seven, if those connected with the school have no respect for this wonderful human being who graced their halls, I think they no longer have a right to have his name attached to the property, staff and students. Although I believe his name should be there, it feels like begging these so very insignificant people to treat him with the respect they should have offered up from the very beginning. As far as I’m concerned, Gardner Elementary School is not worthy to have their auditorium bear Michael Jackson’s name.