Michael Jackson’s name appears on an auditorium at Gardner Street Elementary in Hollywood — the late entertainer attended the school briefly when he was a boy.
It’s the allegations made against the adult Jackson that are causing people to wonder if his name should still be on the building.
In a recent HBO documentary — “Leaving Neverland,” two men accuse him of sexually molesting them — repeatedly — as children
As KCAL9’s Amy Johnson reports, there are people who wonder if the singer’s name should be associated with a school, let alone an elementary school.
“I don’t think the name should stay — in my personal opinion,” says parent Sherry Romito.
All parents — and anyone who works at the school — are being asked to give their opinion and vote on the name of the school auditorium.
“I actually agree with the fact they should take the name off of the auditorium,” says Chasity Hampton.
Two meetings were held and now ballots are being handed out.
“We’ve both voted to take it down just because we think the stigma there, with that name is a greater offense to our children’s upbringing than it is to continue to celebrate him as an artist,” said Owen Williams.
It wouldn’t be the first time Jackson’s name has been removed — or at least covered like in 2003 when he was charged after a boy accused him of sexual abuse.
Jackson was found not guilty. His name was later uncovered after his death.
Many — including those that live near the school — say the name should come down after they watched the documentary.
“for me it changed my opinion,” said Williams.
“I saw the documentary. It was disturbing. Just ask yourself. What kind of message are you trying to send these children? Whether he did what they say he did, or didn’t do. That’s not my place to judge,” said neighbor Argisht Karapetvan. “But you have to send the message out that that’s not right.”
The attorney for Jackson’s estate — Howard Weizman — said in part:
“It would be a terrible shame to remove Michael’s name from the auditorium based on an intentionally one-sided film. Michael Jackson is not guilty and he, like all citizens, is entitled to the presumption of innocence,” Weitz said.
Jackson was not able to find anyone who wants the name to stay on the building. Some say it had nothing to do with the documentary — only about security and fans coming to see the school.
The voting will continue Thursday.