Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Historically black colleges and universities from across the nation, some ranking among the best known HBCUs in America, received bomb threats this week.
As first reported by USA Today, students and faculty were evacuated at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Florida Memorial University, Howard University in Washington, D.C., Norfolk State University in Virginia, North Carolina Central University, Prairie View A&M in Texas, Spelman College in Atlanta, Texas Southern University, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
None of these threats proved credible, but the consternation caused was palpable.
In New Orleans, the city in which Xavier is located, police initially told a local television station the threat was “very real.”
At North Carolina Central, seven outside agencies – including police forces from neighboring universities as well as local fire and law enforcement and the state Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – assisted campus police in investigating and clearing buildings.
In a press release, North Carolina Central officials estimated campus life was disrupted for a little under four hours.
“In accordance with its procedures, the campus was immediately placed on lockdown and alert notifications were issued to students and employees,” the release reads. The university added that after the all-clear, students who live on campus were transported back to their residence halls.
A similar scene played out at the other schools as administrators and investigators worked to secure their campuses.
This marks the second time in the past three months that universities have been targeted by what turned out to be false bomb threats.
In early November, three Ivy League schools – Cornell, Columbia, and Brown Universities – issued emergency alerts following threats.
It is unclear if these incidents were connected in any way or who is behind any of the threatening actions.