Board members decided to delay a decision on renaming Linda Vista Preschool for Alex Espinoza after hearing opposition to the idea.
Board member Maureen Mendoza requested that the naming policy be discussed at the next meeting.
"I'm not sure why we are naming any school at this point," Mendoza said. "Do we really want to rename a school at OMSD?"
Board member Kris Brake said she was concerned with the financial costs associated to any changes.
"We have more pressing matters to attend to," Brake said. "I just don't see the benefit of doing this."
Board member Steve Garcia suggested the name change at the board's Jan. 17 meeting and asked that the matter be placed on the agenda for last week's meeting.
Espinoza owns a real estate company and has supported the Esperanza Scholarship Foundation and the Ontario Leadership Alliance. He is an Ontario resident.
But Judy Briggs, a community activist and former school board member, suggested that the board not "fall for the politics" and instead evaluate the naming policy.
Briggs said buildings in the city have been named after people who served the district for many years.
"They weren't people who knew the right people," she said.
"You need a really strong policy because if you don't, you fall victim to the political paybacks and backroom deals that people make."
Briggs said schools have been named after people who served the school district, such as Ray Wiltsey and her father, Homer Briggs.
"They weren't people who wrote big checks. They were people who gave their family, their blood and their time," she said.
Briggs said there are a lot of people who also deserved recognition, such as the late Jerry DuBois, a former Ontario councilman.
Espinoza attended the meeting but did not speak publicly.
Ontario Councilwoman Debra Dorst-Porada also attended and spoke highly of Espinoza.
"He's a fantastic member of this community," she said. "He is worthy of consideration. He has spent many, many years doing great deeds."
Superintendent James Hammond provided a brief presentation at the Thursday meeting of the district's naming policies. For example, the district can rename school facilities after anyone - living or dead - and the board can also alter the naming policy after a thorough study.
A citizens advisory committee can bring recommendations to the school board for consideration.
Garcia said he asked the board to review its naming policy and consider the creation of a citizens advisory committee.
"This effort to rename is for our children to recognize that they need someone to look at that is similar to their origin, similar to their background and that this is a name they can aspire and look at," Garcia said.
The school board will review the policy at a future meeting.
Reach Liset via email, call her at 909-483-8556, or find her on Twitter @DBOntarioNow.