HBCUs across the United States are being shut down or delaying classes amid an uncanny wave of bomb threats received on this first day of Black History Month. The move comes after a half dozen Historically Black Colleges and Universities had threats made the day prior as well. But come the morning of February 1, at least a dozen new institutions had also received messages of pending attack. (Notably, Howard University got word of bomb threats on both days and on January 5, too.)
“The FBI is aware of the series of bomb threats around the country and we are working with our law enforcement partners to address any potential threats,” the agency said in a statement to USA TODAY. “As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been also asked to assist with the growing situation.
David Wilson, president of Baltimore’s Morgan State University, penned a letter acknowledging that nothing had yet been found on his campus. However, he also urged everyone “to stay strong, remain resilient, and continue” in the face of hate.
“Our history has been one where we have endured all kinds of challenges and disruptions, but we have always emerged stronger,” he wrote. “I’m hopeful that these bomb threats to our National Treasure, and to many of our other sister HBCU institutions, will be aggressively investigated by the FBI.”
Here is the list of schools that received news of a bomb threat on January 31:
- Albany State University
- Bethune-Cookman University
- Bowie State University
- Delaware State University
- Howard University
- Southern University and A&M
Some of them resumed classes after their premise were swept. White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the threats “certainly disturbing” at yesterday’s press conference and said President Joe Biden is “aware” of the problem.
By Monday evening, CNN reported that Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) spokesperson said Howard University was “cleared with no hazardous materials found” on its premises. But the institution would have another threat on its hands, making this the second day in a row for the school. Fortunately, the MPD “issued an ‘ALL CLEAR'” again early Tuesday morning.
Here is the list of schools that received bomb threats today, February 1:
- Alcorn State University
- Coppin State University
- Edward Waters University
- Fort Valley State University
- Howard University
- Jackson State University
- Kentucky State University
- Mississippi Valley State University
- Morgan State University
- Spelman College
- Tougaloo University
- University of the Dist. of Columbia
- Xavier University
(Note: Florida Memorial University, North Carolina Central University, Prairie View A&M University, Spelman College, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Norfolk State University, and Xavier University of Louisiana all received bomb threats on January 4 and 5, too. No explosives have been found and no parties have yet claimed responsibility for the string of threats.)