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Over 12 Historically Black Colleges Targeted With Bomb Threats On The Eve Of Black History Month

Photo: Eric Glenn / Shutterstock.com
Howard University campus

At least 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been targeted with bomb threats before the first day of Black History Month.

The threats have caused quite an alarm for many of the schools who have placed their campuses in lockdown and moved classes online for the time being until everything is called all clear.

This is the second time in the last month that HBCUs have been targeted with bomb threats.

On January 4th, at least eight historically Black colleges received bomb threats which were investigated by local police and the FBI to verify the validity of the claims.

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Although no devices were found, many students shared their unease with the situation.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that several HBCUs received a bomb threat on the same day,” said Brittany Goddard, a 22-year-old law student at Texas Southern University and a graduate of Howard University.

“It just kind of goes to show you that regardless of some progress that we’re seeing, racism is still alive and present.”

Now, a lot of those same universities are being targeted again, and right before the celebration of Black history month, begging the question of whether or not these threats are racially charged.

“A bomb threat against the university is being investigated," an alert from Howard University said, according to NBC Washington.

Howard University was among the first to issue a shelter-in-place order early Tuesday, just a day after several other schools had received their threats as well.

"All persons on campus are advised to shelter in place until more information is available," announced the alert.

The emergency alert was released at 3:29 a.m. Tuesday, the first day of Black History Month, and was given an all-clear later in the morning following a probe.

Other colleges also reported bomb threats ahead of Black History Month.

In addition to Howard, the University of the District of Columbia, Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Edward Waters University, Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Spelman College, Jackson State University, and Tougaloo College all reported bomb threats, according to school officials and social media posts.

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Like Howard, Kentucky State, Jackson State, the University of the District of Columbia, Tougaloo College and Coppin State issued "all-clear" alerts after finding the threats to be unsubstantiated soon after reporting the threats.

Morgan State University President David K. Wilson had to issue a statement to confirm that there was indeed a potential bomb threat to the school after several people responded to the original one, asking if it was real.

"Unfortunately, and sadly, it is," he said. "The campus is being searched building-by-building this morning with our residential halls being searched first."

At around 9 a.m., Wilson confirmed that nothing was found within any of the residential buildings but that a search was continuing throughout the campus.

"Morgan is one of the most historical and consequential universities in the nation. Our history has been one where we have endured all kinds of challenges and disruptions, but we have always emerged stronger," he said.

"My message to you this morning is to stay strong, remain resilient, and continue to prepare yourselves to grow the future and lead the world because our nation and world desperately need more leaders steeped in the values we teach here at Morgan," he continued.

"Those values are Leadership, Integrity, Innovation, Diversity, Excellence and Respect. Hate is not one of them!"

Although Morgan was not one of the schools that wear threatened earlier in January, the effects of these bomb threats are being felt by everyone.

In statements that were made both on Monday and Tuesday, the FBI announced that they were taking action to investigate this latest string of bomb threats to HBCUs.

“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 FBI said. “As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately."

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.