NAACP Florida State Conference demands resignation of Bethune Cookman-University President and Chairman of the Board
BC-U President Dr. Jackson and Board Chairman Dr. Petrock.
“The NAACP Florida State Conference is calling on Bethune Cookman-University (BC-U) President Dr. Edison Jackson and Board Chairman Dr. Joe Petrock to resign effective immediately. Since our initial public outcry last week, multiple allegations have surfaced including faculty intimidation demanding their silence or risk termination and threats to students by potentially withholding earned degrees and fines for freedom of expression. If these allegations are proven, this contrasts the public statements of university administration that opposes suppressing voices by welcoming U.S. Education Secretary DeVos but lends indirect support to these actions against faculty and students.
We have been in contact with several attorneys around the state and have received support from numerous legal entities including the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, which has agreed to represent faculty and students who peacefully protest and are subject to retaliation by the university. Our partners have reviewed the university student code of conduct, and it does not contain any prohibition on peaceful protests and freedom of expression. The NAACP Volusia County Daytona Beach Branch and several attorneys will be on the ground monitoring this situation.
We still believe Secretary DeVos should not speak at commencement and that she has no record supporting an honorary degree by BC-U. The recent comments of President Trump suggesting federal funding for HBCU’s is unconstitutional validates our view of a horrible decision by the university inviting Secretary DeVos, who still has not pledged to drastically increase funding for all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The university leader-ship has drastically fumbled and should resign” says Adora Obi Nweze, president of NAACP Florida State Conference and member of the National Board of Directors.