Message from the CDO
Statement on George Floyd
How many more black lives have to be lost before we as a society acknowledge the systemic racism that exists in our world, and specifically within the police departments? Following the murder of Mr. George Floyd, mass protests in our largest cities have brought attention to the brutal (and often fatal) police tactics commonly used on African-Americans and people of color. More than ever, it is the obligation of Bucks County Community College to use this opportunity to support our faculty, staff, students, and people of color in our community. Here at Bucks, we believe that college campuses have to remain sanctuaries of transparency, education, and conversation, particularly surrounding civil liberties. Silence during these times is unacceptable. As an institution, we condemn all forms of racism, discrimination, and injustice, and moving forward we will be working to increase conversations and programming surrounding these topics. But we can’t do it alone. We need your voice and participation to ensure that we as a college engage in these difficult but necessary conversations. We all have a role to play in dismantling the systemic racism and injustice that is unfortunately still present in our world, and we at Bucks are committed to doing what we can to face these issues head-on. As always, we are here for you and our community. And if you or anyone you know needs support during this time, please reach out to us. Together, we can effect positive change.
Impanel a Second Grand Jury on Breonna Taylor’s Murder
Once again a grand jury failed to indict police officers in killing an innocent African-American. The grand jury said Breonna Taylor’s killing was justified on the grounds of self-defense. Self-defense is defined as protecting one’s own life or the life of another against deadly force. Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed when she was awakened by her boy friend as unknown intruders burst through the door of her home. Fearing for his life and Breonna’s life, her boyfriend acted in self-defense and fired one round from his gun at the unknown intruders. The unknown intruders returned fire with at least seven bullets hitting and killing Breonna Taylor.
The secret grand jury met and determined that the defense of self-defense started after her boyfriend fired at the unknown intruders to protect his life and Breonna’s life. The grand jury basically ruled that Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend had no right to self-defense to protect himself or Breonna from the unknown intruders.
The criminal justice system of Kentucky should impanel a second grand jury to review the first grand jury’s proceedings. Kentucky can do this because grand jury decisions unlike trial jury decisions are not final. No double jeopardy attaches to a grand jury decision. The state of Kentucky or the city of Louisville and/or the Jefferson County District Attorney can impanel a second grand jury to rehear ALL the evidence surrounding the murder of Breonna Taylor. Justice and the rule of law demand it. All black lives matter. Say her name!
Message From Faculty Union
Statement on Racism
The Bucks County Community College Federation of Teachers stands in solidarity with the many progressive groups around the country and the world who are demonstrating against racism and police violence against unarmed black people and against those who are exercising their first amendment right to protest.
Like many, we have been shocked by the murders of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the many others who did not receive the same public scrutiny or due process. As part of the Bucks County community, we urge everyone to unite against discrimination, hate crime, hate speech, and all forms of racism. We need to support each other and all of those who are active and vocal in support of reform of racist and discriminatory institutions and practices. As a place of learning, we need to nurture all of our students, we need to protect the first amendment and create a safe environment for debate, questions, and free expression, but we also need to recognize the history of slavery and the need to re-examine the systematic racism of its legacy. The weeks of protest, which have become international, show that this is not a fleeting or temporary issue, but one whose time has come for a full and honest examination.
At BCCC, we have had over fifty years of history of putting students first. Our small classes, individual attention, and emphasis on teaching and learning have been consistent hallmarks of our reputation. We have an increasingly diverse student population and need to work hard to make every student feel valued and supported. In addition to that, we need to help our students, and ourselves, to understand and participate in, not only our college culture, but the larger cultural surroundings; that understanding needs to include how racism has operated in housing, education, health care, criminal justice, and jobs. We will listen to the voices of those who have not often been heard.