Oct 15 2010

Michael Jackson’s Name is Officially UNcovered on the Gardner St. Elementary School Auditorium! (UPDATED)

Category: Justice,PhotosSeven @ 10:52 pm

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It’s been on the ‘Advocacy‘ tab here for months. I just posted an update yesterday that the ‘Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign’ had finally secured a place at the LAUSD School Board meeting on October 19th, where their arguments to have his name uncovered on the Gardner St. Elementary School Auditorium would be heard. The school’s principal and Asst. Supt., as well as the PTA was fully in support of the effort, and had let the campaign know. Things were looking good! But we had no idea how good! We learned just today that Michael’s name is already uncovered, even before the Committee meeting on the 19th!

Yes, after 7 long years, Michael’s name is finally uncovered on the Gardner St. Elementary School Auditorium. It is once again “Michael Jackson Auditorium“. How did this happen even before the October 19th LAUSD meeting with the ‘Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name‘ group? I’ll explain below but first, a picture that will surely make Michael smile in heaven:

Michael Jackson Auditorium

Michael Jackson Auditorium, UNCOVERED October 15, 2010 (Photo © Laura Uselton)

Here’s what happened (this was updated as I learned more about how events unfolded behind-the-scenes):

Jennifer Marino of the Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign had gotten word early Friday morning from Gardner St. school that Michael’s name had been uncovered. She notified Jackson family friend Jodi Gomes and was subsequently asked to keep it under wraps until Mrs. Jackson could formulate and make a statement. Somehow the information was leaked though, so the campaign decided to announce that it had been uncovered on Friday evening. Then, Taj Jackson also announced it on Twitter, and released Mrs. Jackson’s statement. Family friend Jodi Gomes, Taj and his grandma Katherine Jackson, came up with the statement to go along with the announcement.

Thanks to God the Great Creator, Jennifer and the Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign and all of MJ’s fan-mily who have worked so hard for months to make this happen! This campaign run by Michael’s fan-mily was both inspired and an inspiration. They were focused, dedicated, and were not distracted from their goal by petty issues. Their campaign is a fine example of what Michael’s fans can accomplish if they stick together and remain focused on a goal. They conducted this campaign very professionally and respectfully to all involved – knowing that they were representing Michael and his legacy. What an incredible effort. Michael must be so proud of of his fan-mily right now, wherever he is!

Thanks not least, to Mrs. Katherine Jackson who is very happy and proud about this as well, and who, along with grandson Taj and Ms. Gomes, did her part to help make this happen after being made aware of the campaign.  Here is the official statement from Taj Jackson and Katherine Jackson:

‎On behalf of my grandma, we are thrilled that the “Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign” has come to a happy conclusion. Here is a direct quote from my Grandma…

“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. I look forward to my joint statement with the school in the coming days and thank you from my heart. Michael would be proud”.   – Mrs. Katherine Jackson

Taj tweeted this evening:

Once HelpUncoverMJXx (Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign) brought it to my attention, I contacted Jodi Gomes and my Grandma. Jodi Gomes and I have been working with my Grandma behind the scenes. We got the confirmation this morning.

So there you have it. Victory!  Even the LATimes has covered the story.  Journalist Charles Thompson had written (and has now published) an incredible statement for the cause, which was to be read at the LAUSD meeting on October 19th.

A more formal joint statement/ceremony is being planned with Mrs. Jackson and LAUSD officials. Meanwhile, here is the press release from the LAUSD today:

LAUSD Announcement 10-15-2010

LAUSD Announcement 10-15-2010

We love you Michael Jackson and we hope you are smiling in Heaven, sweetheart!

UPDATE October 16, 2010

Michael Jackson's Name Uncovered  (Photo © Betty Byrnes)

Michael Jackson's Name Uncovered (Photo © Betty Byrnes)

Today, Oct. 16th, I just had to see this sweet sight with my own eyes, so I went to the school today and simply could not stop smiling. It was over cast but for me those letters were bright as the sun. What a beautiful sight!!

While taking my pictures an open air Star Tour bus stopped and the driver told the tourists, “Here you see the “Michael Jackson Auditorium. This was dedicated to Michael Jackson and there was a big event that day and Michael was present. His name was covered years ago and now thanks to fans who campaigned to have his name uncovered Michael Jackson’s name was uncovered this week.” Then the driver asked me if I was a fan and I said “YES! JUSTICE FOR MJ! VICTORY!” Moments later a van filled with 20 something guys drove by and I heard them exclaim “Look it’s there!!! MICHAEL JACKSON’s Auditorium!!” “Wow!” “COOL!” “They did it!” Neighbors walking by smiled and nodded at me as I took my pictures.

Thank God for answered prayers. This may be a small step toward the justice that Michael Jackson so deserves but this small event is so huge to us fighting and praying for Justice for MJ. We are encouraged and I pray it especially encourages and blesses Michael’s family.

-Betty Byrnes

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53 Responses to “Michael Jackson’s Name is Officially UNcovered on the Gardner St. Elementary School Auditorium! (UPDATED)”

  1. Cookie says:

    Yeah, I’ve never seen that picture either, and he had not had such a truly happy smile for a long time. Beautiful post about “Morning Glow” too. Michael is surely smiling from heaven. This meant a lot to him.

    The timing couldn’t be better either. This, plus the 19th, ahead of Oprah.

  2. luvuangel says:

    YESSSSSS! I am SO PROUD to have been part of this campaign. I wrote my Email to the people in charge
    about six months ago, sure that we would make it happen. And it has happened! I am celebrating today
    in spirit with Katherine and all of Michael’s family. And as Carolyn says, this is only the beginning.
    We are going to make ourselves heard, all of us world -wide for Michael. There WILL be justice and
    he WILL get the honor and dignity he deserves. God bless all of us… luvuangel.

  3. Ali says:

    Seven , I’ve come back cos i was just looking around at news reports of this and clicking on them (!) and i saw the article on My Fox LA,. in case you’d not seen it, tho i expect you have, i wanted to draw your attention to the very beautiful picture of Michael they have on the page. it was clearly taken during the trial but am not sure when. i’d not seen it before. he is smiling a beautiful smile and its a smile of love so i presume its towards fans – but I defy ANYONE even O.W to say this is a picture of a guilty man, its a picture of complete innocence, though pained. (i’m not saying this cos i doubted it, but cos its a good picture to have in stock as it SHOWS innocence. the sad pictures, we know what they say but haters can use them the opposite way).

  4. cherie says:

    People who are negative about this are doing so because of resentment, jealousy, fear over the lasting legacy of Michael. They don’t care about the welfare of children. They want to vilify and crucify Michael without knowing the facts. This is the perfect step in the right direction. Michael would be so thankful and proud. God bless the fans & school administration who made this possible.

  5. Ali says:

    His beautiful, beautiful voice. carries you on wings and opens your heart to love and the dance of eternity.

  6. Ali says:

    ” Morning Glow, Morning Glow, starts to glimmer when you know, winds of change are set to set to blow and sweep this whole land through, Morning Glow is long past due….
    Morning Glow fill the earth Come and shine for all you’re worth, we’ll be present at the birth, of all faith looking new, Morning Glow is long past due…
    Morning Glow all days long, For we sing tommorrows song, Never knew we could be so strong, But now its very clear, Morning Glow is almost here…..
    Morning Glow all your life, we can make the new day right.All the bad songs of the night will fade into the past, Morning Glow is here at last…”

    I was crying when i first read the post, then this song came to me. since i turned on my ipod and started typing this, the sun started shining brightly through the blind, like it hadn’t before, really bright as my heart connected with Michael singing. Michael smiling??!!

  7. Solar says:

    What God has blessed, let NO man put asunder!

    View this “INNOCENT” presentation “V is VINDICATION” at Mesereau & Yu’s website:

    http://www.mesereauyu.com/index2.html

    “Lies run sprints, the truth runs marathons.” Michael Jackson

    Our hearts overflow with pure love, joy and happiness for Michael, a divinely extraordinary human being who graced the face of this planet to make it a better place for all humankind!

  8. Saskia says:

    I’ve said it everywhere already. This is such great news. For one it puts all the fans in a positive spotlight for once. The media loves to show all the fans as being the weirdest creatures ever, just like they did with Michael.

    But way more important it shows all of us that when we unite and stop fighting we can do great things. We can help to keep Michael’s legacy save now he is not here anymore. I find is great that Miss Jackson got involved but that so doesn’t forget the people who started this campaign.

    Just looked up my letter and I wrote it on April 5th of this year. Just a little over 6 months later Michael’s name is revealed.

    Anywhere you are in the world today. If the sun is shining it’s because Michael is throwing out one of his lovely smiles. If it’s raining where you are, it’s Michael’s tears of happiness. I just wish he was here to see it. He would be so proud of HIS fans making this happen.

  9. meigadas says:

    BRAVO!!!!!”OLÉ, OLÉ Y OLÉ!”
    This is very important and very encouraging for all of us!
    Have you all seen what we can do if we keep ourselves united??This is THE EVIDENCE, THE CONSEQUENCE.
    Now we know we can do it, so..how far we can go!!!
    Thanks ladies and gentlemen, you are amazing!!!
    Thanks Michael.
    LOVE

  10. Cheryl Letchworth UK says:

    Before the petitions and campaign many fans outside the USA did not know about this – to the team, Taj, Mrs. Katherine, Jodi, Fan-mily and all those involved, heartfelt tears and thank you. Yesterday we cried at this great news and know that Michael is smiling on us and guiding us in the right direction, he is in heaven but forever engraved in our hearts – this is a step on the right road. This is the first of many victories to come in the great name of our now angel Michael Joseph Jackson – Love you all fellow fan-mily and supporters. and in the word of another fan keep “Michaeling”

  11. june says:

    Let’s ALL post comments on the LA Times regarding this wonderful positive accomplishment by a dedicated group of Michael’s fans and the fact that some amount of justice has been achieved and needs to keep growing. This is Los Angeles we are talking about from which Murray’s jury pool will be drawn. Positive news about Michael needs to be spread far and wide, particularly in the Los Angeles commmunity.

  12. AMB says:

    Alleluia! Wonderful! Wonderful! Thank you very much for all the hard work done to accomplish this. It’s definitely great to see Michael’s name written up there, again.

  13. appleh says:

    Just wrote a comment on LA Times article. Most of the comments were positive and overwhelming, just one was disgusting and got a harsh answer from me. How can people be so stupid and stubborn ?

    I´m so glad that the school board made the right decision and I want to thank specially the Group “Uncover MJ´s name”, Jennifer Marino, the director Gardner School, the teachers and students who made all this possible ! This is just the beginning, Justice for Michael has to prevail in so many other things in the future, like CM, Oprah Winfrey and so on.

  14. Simona says:

    Yeas, yes, yes!!!
    Tears of joy today 🙂

    Michael sure is smiling down, thank you to everybody for their wonderful work, thank you!!

  15. Ieva says:

    Juhhu, great news! I think Michael is smiling in heaven! 🙂

  16. Gavin Saunders says:

    My wish now is that this act, in some small but concrete way, reduces the bitterness of the enormous loss Michael Jackson’s children and loved ones feel.

  17. pez says:

    YAAAAAAY!!

    This is wonderful but what’s even more wonderful is imagining the looks on Demon Dimond, Dom Sheldon, Moron Orth, Nancy DisGrace, and all the other hater’s faces when they get wind of this 😀

    Oh, such sweet victory.

  18. Tania says:

    This is amazingly wonderful news!!
    Im crying so many happy tears at the moment. My heart is full with love and joy for our beautiful angel.

    Congratulations to EVERYONE who was involved in making this happen.
    Michael’s precious name is once again proudly displayed as it should be for all the world to see.

    I hope all Michael’s fan-mily will take a moment to soak this in and what this means for not only Michael’s legacy, but for his precious children and his family. How proud and happy they too must be feeling at the moment. And how grateful they must be due to the dedicated and concentrated efforts of all involved in this campaign to restore Michael’s name where it should never have been covered for this long anyway.

    I know in my heart that Michael is smiling that beautiful smile for all of us right now and thanking us with a grateful heart for what has been done for him today.

    God bless Michael’s family and God bless Michael’s fan-mily!
    He really does have the best fans in the entire universe!
    This is just the beginning……

    We love you forever Michael!

  19. nessie says:

    WOW! WOW! WOW! What a happy surprise!! Grinning ear to ear!!!

  20. Deborah Ffrench says:

    What news to wake up to.
    A glorious day.
    A glorious event.

  21. Michelle says:

    I’m SO happy his name is uncovered!!! I’m so happy for Katherine, Michael, his three beautiful kids, his family, us fans and everyone else who has worked on this. We have worked so hard!!! We love you, Michael! I hope you’re smiling down from Heaven now.

  22. Susie Q says:

    This is the first definitive movement forward in getting Michael’s name back in the public eye as something positive, rather than negative!! He is SO much more than deserving of this honor for a SECOND time! His children can hold their heads up a little bit higher after today! God bless Mrs. Katherine for going in as the first line of offense for our campaign!! It proves that she loves her children and would do anything for them! We are SO INCREDIBLY happy for Michael, Katherine, his children, his family, and of course, all of us, his Fan-mily! Let’s take this victory and move forward with it, in a way that shines a “POSITIVE” light on Michael and his Legacy to the World! I L.O.V.E. you MOST-EST, Michael! XOXOXOX

  23. crusindeb says:

    HIStory was changed today Thank God! Michael’s light will shine across the universe. Truth and justice will prevail. WE ARE HERE TO CHANGE THE WORLD WITH L.O.V.E. BRAVO team MjsNameUncovered!!!!
    God Bless.

  24. Lisa says:

    I am so pleased that their campaign was successful. I lost some sleep on Monday night in order to make the deadline, but I want to share my letter with all of you:

    Dear Sir:

    I write regarding a 2003 decision to remove Michael Jackson’s name from the Gardner Elementary School Auditorium. It is my understanding that Mr. Jackson’s name was covered due to allegations leveled against him during his lifetime.

    I am an attorney from New York, so I will not spend time discussing Michael’s record-setting generosity and humanitarian efforts, many of which benefitted children in the Los Angeles area; I will leave it to others to discuss his inimitable influence on dance, music and pop culture over the last forty years. Instead, I would like to focus on legal rights and presumptions in the law afforded to all Americans. As Americans we are entitled to the presumption that we are innocent under the law, until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of our peers. By covering Mr. Jackson’s name, the school district has convicted and sentenced Mr. Jackson based upon unproven, and quite frankly, rather tenuous allegations.

    The first allegations came from 13-year old Jordan Chandler, the son of a screenwriter with a creative imagination. Indeed, at 11, Jordie came up with the concept and assisted in editing the script for Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Jordie and his family spent their first weekend at Neverland in late February 1993. By the middle of July 1993 — a mere four and a half months later — Jordie’s father, Evan Chandler severed all ties between Michael and Jordie. This was a man who just one month earlier had asked Mr. Jackson to build an addition on his home so that Michael could spend more time with the family. Yet for reasons that are truly unknown, Evan took possession of his son and would not return him to his mother. Harvey Levin, then a budding investigative reporter, subsequently reported that Evan administered sodium amytal to his son on August 2, 1993. After being given the psychotropic drug, Evan repeatedly questioned his son about whether Michael had ever touched him. Indeed, Evan Chandler lied to the boy claiming that he had hidden a tape recorder. Still the teen was adamant. The boy repeatedly denied that anything had occurred, but ultimately succumbed to the pressure exuded by his father and claimed that Michael had touched him.

    But, Evan Chandler did not go to police; he did not report this abuse to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Instead, on August 4, 1993, Evan met with Michael and demanded $20,000,000. Evan threatened that if he did not receive the sum, he would go public. Michael’s estimated worth at this time was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But did he pay? No. He allowed the allegations to become public in August 1993 maintaining his innocence from the outset.

    Evan Chandler then hired attorney Larry Feldman. During a recent conference, Mr. Feldman bragged that he recently settled a case — involving a special education teacher who had been sexually abusing special education students ¬— without anyone finding out what occurred. As early October 1993, Feldman began publicly claiming that his client could describe Michael’s genitalia and that he would be seeking photographs of the star to corroborate his theory of child molestation. Jordie Chandler had previously provided an affidavit and drawing purportedly describing Mr. Jackson’s genitalia. Again, Michael did not settle; he did not waver in his assertions of innocence.

    On December 20, 1993, would-be prosecutors from Santa Barbara County came knocking on Mr. Jackson’s door with a search warrant allowing them to photograph him in the nude. Prior to the body search, Jackson’s attorneys were not given a copy of the affidavit indicating the reason for “probable cause.” At the time of the search, Michael’s attorney Howard Weitzman requested a copy of the affidavit. It has been reported that in response to the request, Detective Russ Birchim of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, stated, “I don’t think so.” Weitzman laughed and said, “[i]t never hurts to try.”

    Within moments of beginning the body examination, the Santa Barbara county’s dermatologist, Dr. Richard Strick, determined that Jordie’s descriptive affidavit and drawing were incorrect. Unlike the description given by Jordie ¬— which led authorities on the wild goose chase ¬— Michael Jackson was not circumcised. Evan Chandler was Jewish and his son was 13 years old when the affidavit and drawing were created. It is possible that with both Evan and Jordie having been circumcised themselves, Evan had not thought of the possibility that a poor, black child born in Indiana in 1958 would not have been circumcised. Based upon the autopsy report, Mr. Jackson remained uncircumcised until his death. Within a month of the search, Reuters, USA Today and other news outlets would publish the fact that the description provided by Jordie Chandler did not match. But they would be buried by news that the case had settled.

    The settlement was mediated by three judges and conducted between Feldman and Michael Jackson’s new attorney, Johnnie Cochran. A little known fact is that Feldman and Cochran were old friends. In fact, Feldman had personally represented Cochran in several “personal” matters. This, in my opinion, created an irreparable conflict such that Cochran should not have been representing Mr. Jackson. Indeed, as soon as Feldman learned that Cochran was on the case, he began celebrating. He called Cochran a “wheelin’, dealin’” attorney who would get him money.

    Once paid, neither Jordie nor his father was willing to assist prosecutors with their case against Michael Jackson. To be clear, the settlement agreement did not and could not have prohibited the Chandlers from testifying. Such a provision would amount to obstruction of justice and would not have been approved by the presiding judge, nor upheld in any court. After several months of investigating, prosecutors from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara closed their files. They admitted that despite interviews with over four hundred people and presentation of proof to two grand juries, they did not have a case worth prosecuting.
    Of note, Jordie claimed that acts of molestation occurred in New York, Nevada, Florida, France and Monaco. Yet none of the authorities in any of these states, countries or principalities ever brought charges against Michael Jackson. Indeed, as was recently disclosed, Santa Barbara prosecutors sought help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Other than assisting California prosecutors in their investigation, the FBI declined to conduct an investigation and the Department of Justice declined to prosecute Mr. Jackson under the Mann Act. Despite published reports that child pornography was located in Mr. Jackson’s home, mere possession of child pornography is statutorily proscribed. Therefore, had such evidence been seized, prosecution under state and federal criminal statutes would have been unavoidable. But as with so much of the information being fed to the public by the media, this illogical lie was patently false.

    The tale of the Arvizos can be stated in a few lines. After Martin Bashir filmed footage of her son, Gavin Arvizo, Janet Arvizo went to attorney William Dickerman intending to sue Mr. Bashir for putting her child on his show without parental permission. Dickerman clearly recalled the earlier settlement and with dollar signs in his eyes called upon Larry Feldman. Larry Feldman met with the Arvizos and then — after DCFS had interviewed the family and determined that nothing untoward had occurred — the Arvizos first made allegations against Mr. Jackson. Charged with 14 counts of criminal conduct, Mr. Jackson was universally acquitted on June 13, 2005.

    While many say that a not guilty verdict in a criminal trial is not the equivalent of innocence, I pose, why then did no one file a civil suit against Michael Jackson after the acquittal? The burden is proof is significantly lower. Indeed, unlike a criminal trial, where one is innocent until proven guilty, in a civil suit, once named as a defendant, it is your burden to extricate yourself, i.e. you must prove a negative. Further, this course is quite common and yielded a hefty verdict against O.J. Simpson and quick settlements from Kobe Bryant and Roman Polanski. But no attorney would take up the case of Gavin Arvizo.

    I could go on and on, but Michael Jackson fans happen to be a group of superiorly intelligent people. After all, their idol was falsely accused of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable. Yet, they were able to sort through the muck to find the truth. I trust that you have learned much from them and I will not take up more of your time repeating the words of others.

    As a man of education, I trust that you understand the value of teaching students, indeed all people, that they should read, investigate and learn. That they should never take information at face value, but query and challenge that which does not seem correct or logical. I join with fans of Michael Jackson in asking that you refrain from condemning a man who, when the evidence is examined, demonstrated time and again that he did not and would not harm a child. I ask that you stand up for the values of our legal system and show students in Los Angeles and everywhere that all Americans, including Michael Jackson, are innocent until proven guilty.

    I thank you for your time.

  25. Joyce says:

    I just couldn’t get to sleep tonight with all the negative thoughts regarding “O.W.” running through my head so I thought I would check my email and MJJ-777 one more time before putting Michael’s music in my ears and trying again to go to bed.
    I can’t think of a more beautiful picture to see than those brilliant gorgeous letters spelling out Michael’s incredible unforgettable name!! I am thrilled beyond words. Thank you so much to Jennifer Marino and the Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name team, Jodi Gomes, Mr. Cortines, the LAUSD Board and most of all, love and thanks to Taj Jackson and Mrs. Katherine Jackson, for ensuring that Michael’s honor and legacy has finally been restored at the Gardner Elementary School. I look forward to seeing and hearing more about this in the days ahead.
    I can almost feel Michael’s joy and see his smile shining down from heaven. Thank you so much Seven. My heart is bursting with love and happiness for Michael. I agree with Carolyn, I think this is just the beginning. Michael’s spirit will live on forever through all of us!
    Goodnight!! I think I will have pleasant dreams for sure now!

  26. Seven says:

    @Laura – done! Happy to attribute the photo to the proper owner!

  27. june says:

    This is such wonderful news! And I was hoping for a rededication which it appears will happen! Michael deserves it. Whatever happens, Michael, we will not let go of your hand. This is just the beginning of vindicating your name and legacy.

  28. maria odette says:

    THANK YOU ALL FOR THE HARD WORK IN ACCOMPLISHING THIS GREAT TASK. GOD BLESS YOU ALL… LOOK WHAT WORKING TOGETHER CAN ACCOMPLISH!!!!
    REST IN PEACE MICHAEL.. WE LOVE YOU MORE…

  29. Laura says:

    Hey! So glad that our voices were all heard!! I was just wondering if you would give photo credit in the above photo to Laura Uselton. I took that photo earlier today with my phone, and then sent it to my Facebook to share. Thank you =)

  30. Carolyn says:

    Yessssss!!! I pray this is just the beginning of great things that will happen for Michael.

    Michael Jackson 1958-FOREVER