Wave of bomb scares hits historically black colleges
At least 12 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) received bomb threats on Tuesday and at least 17 of them received such threats over the past two days, US media reported. As such, institutions were forced to cancel in-person classes and lock down campuses.
In a statement to the media, the FBI said it was aware of the situation and was working with other agencies to “address any potential threats.”
Speaking to reporters on Monday, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki called the wave of bomb threats “disturbing.”
Val Demings, a congresswoman from Florida, was among officials who called for a response to the threats. She promised to keep working with authorities “to keep all of our students and communities safe.”
The institutions affected by anonymous messages ranged from Kentucky State University and Xavier University of Louisiana to Edward Waters University in Florida and Fort Valley State University in Georgia.
Five HBCUs received threats on the first day of Black History Month in Mississippi alone, the Mississippi Free Press said on Monday.
Rust College President Ivy Taylor said bomb detection dogs were called in to ensure there were no explosives on campus. A similar wave of bomb reports hit HBCUs early last month.
According to the FBI, registered hate crimes against black people in the US rose to 2,755 in 2020, up 40% from the year before.