First, I would like to thank all of the people have and continue to support me in my legal case Liggins v. Bouffault.
On October 1st, 2010 the jury found Bouffault “not guilty”.
On October 8th, 2010 I will file a motion for a new trial. If necessary I will take my case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
I know that it is easy for some people to think that my lawsuit is only money. But there is no amount of money that can make any man whole once his Civil Rights have been taken from him. That’s because those Civil Rights have been paid for with the blood of every soldier and every person who has ever defended our Constitution.
My rights are sacred to me and I hope that yours are saced to you. That’s what makes our country diffrent from most other places in the world. The Constitution says that we are all equal, whether you’re a millionaire horse breeder or a cement finisher.
Even if you do not like me I hope that you will try to see the bigger picture here no matter whether you are white or black. If the government can take away my right to speak in a public forum then be sure that they can take yours away too.
During the trial Ms. Bouffault and Ms. Welliver said that they were concerned that the April14th, 2008 school board meeting was getting “intense”. Sure, some of the folks at the meeting clapped between speakers but no one was anymore rowdy than what happens every Sunday at a Baptist Church service. Ms. Dorothy Davis testified that most of the speakers at the meeting were retired school teachers, administrators and college professors.
When I stood before the school board my only statement that night was that I beleived that the school board had violated Section 7 of the Civil Rights Act. I no sooner said those words before Ms. Bouffault shouted “You will not accuse this board of an unlawful act!” and ordered me to sit down.
I spoke for less than 15 seconds before she ordered me to stop talking.
I beleived then, and I still beleive now, that the school board did act unlawfully and disrespectfully in the way it dealt with Ms. Brenda Jones, a 30 year educator who had given her life to educating both black and white children in our community. That’s all that I planned to say and I had a right to say it.
Had Ms. Bouffault simply said “I’m sorry for what I did” that would have ended it.
Instead, she has stubbornly refused to acknowledge her mistake and has now made things worse by statement that she made about the black community’s support of me during the trial. No black person in Clarke County has ever disrupted a public meeting, violently or otherwise, and the April 14th, 2008 school board meeting wasn’t about to be the first time no matter what Robina Bouffault or Jennifer Welliver said under oath in Harrisonburg last week.
But I ask anyone willing to have an open mind on this to look carefully in the mirror and ask yourself if you could live with someone making false statement about you and threatening you with arrest for just trying to say your opinion.
I cannot abide by such behavior and guess that most of the people in this county and town wouldn’t either. That’s why I have no choice but to continue to fight for my rights using the legal methods that the Constitution provides all of us, white and black alike.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration and support.
Kenneth D. Liggins