Parents and staff decided to keep Michael Jackson's name above the doors of the auditorium of a Gardner Street Elementary school in Hollywood despite the recent sex abuse claims against the late artist.
The school officials announced the results of the vote Saturday, pointing out that the majority of the parents and academic staff did not approve a name change.
The self-proclaimed King of Pop briefly attended the school as a 6th grader, when his family moved to California from Indiana. It was just before the Jackson 5 hit ''I Want You Back'' in 1969. Jackson never returned to a public school after he started his active music career as a child and was home-schooled.
The elementary school named the auditorium after him in 1989 to honor his achievements in music and his charity work. Back then, his reputation was intact.
The debate over the name change sparkled soon after the release of Leaving Neverland, the HBO documentary which portrayed Jackson as a sexual abuser of children. The film featured the former child actor James Safechuck and the choreographer Wade Robson who claimed they were sexually abused as minor children by the pop legend while they were working together.
After the movie aired in March many parents whose children attend the Gardner Street Elementary school, contacted Principal Karen Hollis asking her to choose another name for the auditorium.
Another group of parents, including Jackson's family, opposed such a move saying that despite the numerous allegations of pedophilia, Michael Jackson's fault had never been proven and he did not face any criminal charges.
The official spokesperson of the famous musician had encouraged the school to respect the right of Jackson to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Some of the parents who were against the name change also commented that Michael Jackson was no longer able to defend himself.
The school administration decided to put the issue to a vote in balloting that finished Thursday last week. In an official statement, Principal Karen Hollis announced that the majority of the voters decided to keep the current name as the Michael Jackson Auditorium.
Principal Hollis also highlighted that school officials, teachers, and administrative staff would do their best to prevent any further disruptions to the school and additional impact on the learning process in the classrooms.
Do you agree or disagree with the vote outcome? Was it the right decision to keep Michael Jackson's name despite the sexual abuse allegations?