Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Despite child molestation accusations, L.A. Unified restores school auditorium sign in honor of Michael Jackson. A good idea?


Michael Jackson was a musical icon. He also was a man dogged by accusations of inappropriate relationships with children.

6a00d8341c630a53ef013488024286970c-320wiIn 2003, after Jackson's arrest on suspicion of child molestation, L.A. school officials covered over a sign with his name on it at the Michael Jackson Auditorium at Gardner Street School in Hollywood. Jackson was ultimately acquitted, and after his death last year, fans urged the L.A. school system to uncover the sign.

Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines ordered the boards stripped away Friday "in recognition of Michael Jackson's musical legacy and contribution to modern culture."

A school district spokesman told The Times' Kate Linthicum the decision was made in large part because Jackson had been acquitted of criminal charges in the molestation case. (In 1993, a 13-year-old boy filed a civil suit accusing Jackson of sexual molestation. The pop singer, while declaring his innocence, eventually settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum that sources say was at least $15 million.)

On Friday night, a Facebook page calling for the restoration of the sign was overflowing with joyous comments.

"I could cry!!" one person wrote. "I wish he were here to see this!!"

Jackson was briefly enrolled at Gardner Street Elementary. In 1969, he and his family moved to Los Angeles from Gary, Ind., so that Jackson and his brothers could make a record with Motown.

What do you think about L.A. Unified's decision to restore the sign? Share your thoughts below.

Photo: Michael Jackson. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (82)

Michael Jackson was and will be the most loved man, admired and copied this planet! My children are the age of 13 and 16 years, and every day more are charmed by this man, his art and his person! Michael, we love you!

The title to this article should begin with : Due to the fact that Michael Jackson has been totally vindicated of any child molestation accusations, and that the FBI conclusions have confirmed he was a victim of extortion ...

"Lies Run Sprints.....Truth Run Marathons!!"by Michael Jackson

Aquitted on all counts !!!!

The settlement with the 1993 accuser(Jordan Chandler and family) was paid by Micahel Jackson and refunded to him by an insurance company. His record company and the insurance company pressed him to settle. Like most businesses, it was easier to settle than to drag it out in court(especially if the insurance company was going to pay the bill for a settlement).

Thisis a great Idea,

this is great news. everyy Tv news station around the world should be watching this as the boards come down in honor, and as an apology from the school is issued along with an apology form each Tv news station for ranting lies and acusing this man when they did not really know the truth of extortion.

but as you know time and time again, that if positve news comes out involving Michael Jackson, a media publication must always rain on his parade by trying to portray him, or his family in a negative light. Unbelivable? watch for an example next time "good news" on Jackson or his family comes up.

I don't agree with the overall tone of this article, but I do agree it is about time this was done.

Congratulations to the group of MJ fans who worked endlessly to accomplish this as well as the LAUSD for finally coming to their senses.

LAT- hmmm, not so much.

The settlement was for negligence, was paid by MJ’s insurance carrier and proof of this was presented at 2005 trial by Mesereau. Furthermore, we need to acknowledge the fact that that the Chandler family agreed to all of the terms that the Jackson’s lawyers outlined in the settlement, namely, that Jackson did not molest the boy. Additionally and most importantly this settlement for negligence in NO WAY prevented any criminal investigation or prosecution. At that time, MJ agreed to submit to a degrading photography session of his genitals to PROVE his innocence. If the description of the Chandler boy had matched the physical and photographic evidence, there would have been a criminal trial in 1993, but somehow that never occurred. You need to ask yourself ..why?

Distortions and inferences that the ‘settlement’ proved MJ guilt must stop.

People point to the settlement and say, MJ was guilty because he didn’t go to trial to prove his innocence…. The very same people will say MJ is still guilty even though he went to trial in 2005 and proved his innocence.

You can’t have it both ways.

The dehumanization and demonization of Michael Jackson by the press has been a steady barrage, 25 years in the making and by the looks of things, they are not moral enough to say they have been mistaken. The brainwashing of the public will not be undone overnight, but rest assured, It will be undone. It will take emotional stamina and deep determination to withstand the constant and repetitious responses we get back from the MJ haters and doubters, who base their nasty retorts on the very media we are exposing.

MJJJusticeProject --- the time has COME

It's about damn time! He was acquitted five years ago!

MJ attended that school. For the school to allow false accusations to cover up MJ's name makes them just a culpable as the media is for believing and spreading this lie. The school condemned him the minute they covered his name. FOR SHAME! Punishing an innocent man who did nothing wrong to children and never hurt anyone. This came far too late!

not only that, it is just.
why is it that certain things are always brought up to denounce an innocent man by people who never bother to do some research on the topic? it's getting old, really.
did those who keep using 1993 as an argument ever look into that case and the people involved? did you read about tom sneddon? did you read about evan chandler or what he did to get his son to say what he said? did you even know the names of them?

get your facts straight before using this crap. MJ was framed in both cases and over 300 pages of FBI files gave no hint at a wrongdoing on his side.

"Michael Jackson was a musical icon. "

Is that a good enough reason to name a middle school auditorium after him?

Why not Benedict Arnold? He was an icon of military organization and an excellent battlefield commander.

How about King Henry VIII? He started the Church of England.

What about Rafael Septien? He was a Great place kicker for the Dallas Cowboys (and also a pedophile).

Benito Mussolini? Adolph Hitler? Josef Stalin? They all were superb community organizers.

Certainly we can find someone better than THIS deeply flawed individual.

[And by the way, Dimple. Not guilty is NOT the same as "proven innocent". And what is "TURH"?]

Just because MJ was accused doesn't mean he did it as he DID not. Catholic priests who abuse children don't get treated like MJ was. When caught, they just get transferred. A SAD SHAME!

The innocent was treated worse than the guilty. WHAT KIND OF A COUNTRY ARE WE LIVING IN?

I am glade that the LA school district decided to restore the sign.I just wish that it was done when Mr Jackson was alive.GOD BLESS

Was it a good idea? Media is so full of crap!! What type of question is that to even ask. Michael was always a INNOCENT MEN!! He always stood up for that he was innocent. And his story never changed either when he was doing his best to show His innocents!! While everyone else who wanted him to be guilty for something he never done. I thought the law says you are proven innocent until your proven guilty by the court of law. Which he was proven innocent Not GUILTY!! Michael Never harm the families who portrayed him. He gave his heart and support to these families. And what he gotten in return was pure portrayal!!! His name shouldn't of never been covered up in the first place. People lie and lies bring negative doubts. But at the end the truth was always around. And the media was to blind to see the truth. All they wanted to do is try to make a innocent men guilty. Try to place him as guilty!! Without seeing the real truth. Now the truth is going to be uncovered. We will fight for his good name.. And far as the media goes with these lies you can continue but just know we are fighting against your negative point of views. And we will be standing until the very end. It's our time this time around.

It should not have happened in the first place.
If they really wanted to take a moral stand they should have returned the substantial donation he gave them.

About the jury: 2 jurors came out later( after a unanymous verdict) and said they differed from the majority of the jury because they think he was guilty. Why ? Does 'BOOK DEAL 'ring a bell?
One of them - the old woman told the judge even before the sessions started that she was not impartial and asked to be
dismissed, but still they put her up there. So much for fair trial.
She also made a complete fool of herself saying that she tried hard to find evidence of his guilth but couldnt find any because 'it just wasnt there '

Yes Michael was lucky that Messerau exposed the LAPD and DA, unlike many other victims of these 'crimefighters'
Its funny that those who know that Michael was INNOCENT can prove it with facts while those who keep saying not guilty does not mean innocent, cant come up with anything but namecalling and oneliners. Or play irrelevant semantic games.
The law only knows guilty and not guilty, You are either the one or the other.

Want a good laugh and something in return for your wasted taxes, read the court transcripts, especially Janet Arvizos statements . Youll wonder what the heck your DA was thinking.
You would expect something like this in Albania or the former USSR or in a sitcom..
A shame that an innocent mans life was ruined.
RIP Michael.
As you said Lies run sprints but the truth runs marathons.

The only intelligent comments I can see above are from the Michael Jackson fans. They have obviously done their research. The ignorant comments are obviously from haters who care less for truth and only consider tabloid garbage as news. The Michael Jackson story is one of the most intriging stories of tragedy and triumph. Tragedy because someone like him can EVER be accused of such ugly deeds and triumph because finally, level headed people are beginning to discover the truth. Michael Jackson was ALWAYS going to be exonerated because the truth is hard to hide forever. It always has a way of coming out. Michael Jackson was a decent human being with a GIANT heart and anyone who thinks otherwise just does not know the TRUTH. Thank you fans and thank you L.A.Unified.

OK, one more time. The man was found innocent, not guilty, didn't do it,
exonerated. The family, on the other hand, was revealed as grifters who
attempted extortion on other celebrities before Mr. Jackson.

Obviously, the parents, school board, superintendent and principal
of that school get it. Some of the comments on this site are obviously
written by people who merely repeat ad nauseum what the media has
spoon fed you for years.

I'm not interested in reading your vile, malacious, uneducated dribble.
Do some research; it's all there. Or not. Your loss.

Michael's name and fame and is beyond and above all, they don t deserve to have it back after what was done. My opinion, RIP 1MJ4EVER in my heart. Love you Michael

YES!!! Finally this wonderful man can get the recognition and love he deserves! Michael would love this! People need to understand the TRUTH!!!!

Regardless of what you think of Michael Jackson's value as an entertainer, his personal life was a mess, and very odd. While I cannot say whether or not he actually molested a child, it does appear at the very least that his boundaries with children were off.
There are many very talented African American performers who would merit having their names placed above that door, and who had personal lives that do not involve odd behavior with children, a bizarre lifestyle, and drugs. These very issues were likely what led to Mr. Jackson's name being covered up in the first place. His tragic death from a drug overdose did not remove these issues from existence. If the sole reason for covering the name was the outcome of that particular law suit, it would have been removed some time ago.

Yes it is a wonderful idea! If people had properly researched the truth regarding the 1993 and 2003 allegations, they would realise that this man was always innocent of those heinous accusations. God bless the loyal and dilligent fans whose long and steadfast campaign led to victory for this kind, caring, wonderful humanitarian and phenominal performer. His name should have never been covered in the first place. Michael is smiling down from the heavens right now. RIP Michael, we will always love you. From fans in London X.

A good idea? No a great idea and the right thing to do! When will you people accept the fact that this man was wrongfully accused and rightfully acquitted? In the United States you are "innocent until proven guilty" Michael Jackson was NEVER proven guilty. In fact he was proven just the opposite which means this should never be an issue ever again. An innocent man was accused and an innocent man was acquitted end of story. June 13, 32005 and October 15, 2010- justice was done. We love you Michael always.

There is a court document online that indicates that Michael Jackson did not want the 1993 settlement to be paid. It was his insurance company who made the decision against his input.

The facts with the 2005 trial are in the transcripts, which are also online should you search it. Michael Jackson was determined not guilty by a jury of his peers due to the content that was uncovered during the trial. It is a human right to be determined innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and since that court decided he was NOT GUILTY, it means he IS INNOCENT. His reputation must be restored to that level of innocence. Mr. Jackson was NOT acquitted, he was determined NOT GUILTY in verdict. There is a difference.

The media is in part responsible to public opinion. During the trial and after, the media has yet to print the truth worldwide. Some journalists have spoken out verifying MJ was indeed innocent and have reviewed court documents. Search Aphrodite Jones and Charles Thomson. They have written the truth based on court documents.

I think it is wonderful his name was restored on the school building. They have upheld the very foundations to American Society to which this country was founded. They have allowed his name restored because he was deemed NOT GUILTY in a court of law. His name restored at the school was overdue and undeniably rightfully given. MJ deserves to have his name in good public esteem.

The truth is out there. The media has yet to correct their wrongs....Its time they do...

Michael Jackson was innocent of all charges. Anyone whos sees all the evidence & sees what happened & all the written information given would know that. Both cases had people who had ulterior motives for their actions as well as in the 1st case the mother said it was not true, The father just wanted money & in the 2nd case the family had tried the same thing with other people including filing police brutality charges with the police. THis should have been done a long time ago but what is important is that it was done. Michael Jackson was the most wonderful man in the world. This is the best news I have heard in a long time. Noone can match his beautiful heart & generosity. There is noone on the same scale. I have believed in Michael for over 40 years. I never doubted about the charges. He is my hero. Thank you Michael I will love you till the end of time & more then all the stars. You will always be in my heart. I am so glad about this. I hope you see how much you are loved & always will be. I know you would be happy about this too. You were the person who cared about children so deeply & helped them more then almost anyone else including the little boy you searched the world for a liver transplant so he could live & he owed his life for you I lve you. You were too good for this world. We didnt deserve you. Thank you God for Michael Jackson

LA Now: You should be ashamed of the lead in to this article. Even the school finally gained the integrity to know the answer to your insipid question.

MJJustice & bow1958: BRAVO! Your comments are articulate, intelligent, informed and make those of us who love MJ proud. The ignorant, poorly read and sex crimes obsessed will believe what they want to believe no matter what the courts, justice system or FBI say. Leave the haters to their hate. They are not worth the emotional energy is takes to refute them.

BRAVO and thank you, also, to the MJ group that fought so hard for this. I have followed you on several blogs and I know this has been a long, hard battle. Bless you for your perseverance and determination. Isn't victory sweet!!??

His name should NEVER have been covered in the first place! I am outraged at how Michael was treated and is still being treated by the likes of oprah, who seems to have some psychological or is it financial?? need to persecute him. MICHAEL JACKSON, AN INNOCENT MAN, PROVEN TO BE INNOCENT.

Dude's "music" and spastic "dancing" were lame and annoying.

« | 1 2 3 4 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: