UPDATE (April 28): A little more than a week after the incident, President Sonya Christian said staff has been able to find a webinar version of Zoom that provides more security for its virtual campus-wide events.

Christian said in BC’s Renegade Roundup newsletter that the college will launch this new tool on May 4 with its annual budget forum that will be hosted by the Budget Committee from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

While the college is taking a hiatus this week from its regular virtual seminars, they are expected to return soon using the new version of Zoom.

UPDATE: Shelley Castaneda, executive director of college safety, said she is working closely with BPD to support the investigation.

“As someone who has investigated these types of crimes in my prior career with the Sheriff’s Office, I have full confidence in knowing that this matter will be fully investigated,” she said. “I know that the BPD investigators assigned to this case have undergone specialized training and have specific expertise to handle these types of internet-related crimes.”

President Sonya Christian thanked the BPD for its support and response to the incident and said it won’t prevent the college from continuing virtual meetings.

“At BC, our shared goal each day is to create a sacred and safe space of learning for our students, our colleagues, and our community,” she said. “This offensive violation only strengthens our resolve and vigilance in defending this space.”

A video depicting child pornography was displayed during a public Zoom meeting hosted by Bakersfield College on Monday.

The Bakersfield Police Department said at around 3 p.m., the college was holding a meeting about its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the meeting, an anonymous user posted the video and was quickly removed from the meeting by an administrator. The incident was then reported to the department.

BPD said the video clearly displayed illicit sexual acts with a child. The origin of the video and the identity of involved suspect and victim are unknown at this time.

“This is an extremely serious incident involving the abuse of a child and distribution of child pornography, a felony under state and federal law,” the department said. “Our investigators will work with Bakersfield College, our law enforcement partners and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to follow through with all necessary resources to hold the person responsible for this act criminally accountable.”

Monday’s meeting was a virtual seminar that featured local leaders such as Senator Shannon Grove, Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop and KernTax Executive Director Michael Turnipseed.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call BPD at 661-327-7111.