At least seven HBCUs received bomb threats Tuesday, triggering evacuations and lockdowns across HBCU campuses.
According to The Washington Post, Florida Memorial University, The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Central University (NCCU), Prairie View A&M, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Howard all reported receiving bomb threats.
The schools ordered evacuations or lockdowns and alerted local law enforcement. It was not immediately clear whether the threats were connected or racially motivated. By early Wednesday morning, all of the HBCUs gave all-clear notices to their schools and local communities.
“Although the threat was unfounded, we ask that everyone remains vigilant,” a statement from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff said, adding that the full student body has yet to return from the holiday break, but those who were there were relocated off-campus.
Officials at Pine Bluff University told the Post their school received the threat just after 5 p.m. and shortly after NCCU received its threat.
HBCU schools aren’t the only higher learning institutions to receive bomb threats recently. Cornell University, Columbia University, and Brown University all received bomb threats last November. The Miami University of Ohio and Ohio University received threats a day before those threats.
Threats of violence in schools at every level have increased along with school shootings in recent years, but little has been done in terms of safety and stopping the threats as millions of Americans have continued to fight for the right to bear arms, and Republican politicians have supported them and gun manufacturers.
In Michigan, which is still dealing with a school shooting that led to the death of four kids, Superintendent Tim Thorne of Oxford Community Schools announced all middle and high school students would be required to wear clear backpacks. Elementary school students will not be required to wear clear backpacks but will be required to keep their backpacks in their lockers throughout the day.