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HBCU students ‘on the rise’ after threats from a new series of bombs at the beginning of a dark history month

Students said they were afraid to return to the classroom after more than a dozen Black History Colleges and Universities received bomb threats on Tuesday, the first day of Black History Month. Schools spanning at least seven states and the District of Columbia were put on high alert, just a day later threats were made against a host of other black colleges and less than a month after schools received the warning at the start of the new year.

At least 17 HBCUs issued a bomb threat warning on Tuesday morning. Philander Smith College and Arkansas Baptist College was targeted in Arkansas. The University of the District of Columbia and Howard University received threats in Washington, DC In Florida, Edward Waters University layers are aborted after threats are made. Spelman College and Fort Valley State University At georgia; Kentucky State University; Louisiana’s Xavier University; State of Coppin and Morgan State in Maryland; Jackson State, State of Alcornand Mississippi Valley Statewith Rust and Tougaloo colleges in Mississippi; and Harris-Stowe University in Missouri, all reported bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month.

“Historically black colleges and universities around the country received threats this year,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said in a statement. statement Tuesday. “These threats are despicable. They are designed to make us feel scared and vulnerable.”

Several schools received multiple threats in early January, including Howard, Xavier and Spelman. Howard was also targeted on Monday.

“I’m not sure if these threats are real,” Ezinne Kalu told The Daily Beast. The freshman, now a freshman majoring in computer information systems at Howard, said she hoped the whole situation was just a bad joke.

“I’m praying it’s a crazy, crazy joke, with no threat or real meaning,” she said. “However, as Black students, we have witnessed—sometimes with our own eyes—the times when people would harm Negroes, especially during a time when we I feel most liberated, like in Black History Month.”

Many schools already accommodate students and staff. Some have opted for virtual learning, and others have canceled classes for the day entirely. By 5 p.m., most of the threats were deemed unreliable and schools had lifted their lockdowns. But that does not make students afraid to return to class.

“Many of my classmates and I had the edge today,” says Kalu.

Jordan Lewis, a biology senior at Xavier University, said she and her classmates felt uncomfortable even after her school said staff and students were back in class. is fine.

“Many of us are still deciding whether or not to get involved in person,” she told The Daily Beast. “I have a few classes today. One of mine has been brought online for remote instruction, and my last class is also available online.”

However, that did not give her much reassurance.

“I don’t want to make any decisions until an official message is released saying everything is clear, but the uneasy feeling as to why these threats are happening remains. there,” Lewis said.

Lewis, who has made two bomb threats in the past month, feels the first might just be a fluke or a “low-level problem”.

“Everything was resolved within a few hours,” she said. “But now… other Historically Black Universities and Colleges receive similar threats. My alarm went off… Since it happened all the time and across so many schools, it was definitely worrisome. ”

Lewis added: “We’re not unfamiliar with people making things harder for us due to the color of our skin. “And we will continue to pursue what we deserve no matter who or what tries to stop us or put fear in our hearts.”

Kalu said she felt there weren’t enough resources to support students when Howard received a bomb threat in early January, and the public and media should not have taken the matter seriously. full.

“This most recent bomb threat is the second in 24 hours and the third in a one-month period,” she said. “I have spoken to many students who feel unsafe, especially on an open campus like Howard’s, where so many individuals are seen walking the grounds at all times of the day.”

When bomb threats were reported at HBCUs on January 5, many schools were empty because of the coronavirus pandemic and winter break, according to New York Times. Florida Memorial University, Norfolk State University, Central North Carolina, Prairie View A&M University, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff were also targeted at the time, Guardians reported.

Calvert White, a social science student at Jackson State, told CNN that he feels “uncomfortable.”

“HBCU has a long history of physical threats just because of our existence,” he said. “I think the threats were not personal or random – it was a clear attack against Black students who choose to attend Black schools.”

Howard University said early Tuesday this morning the Metropolitan Police Department and Howard University Police Department have “issued ‘ALL CLEARLY’ in their investigation of a bomb threat made around 2:55 a.m. this morning” and a bunker in place was removed.

On Monday, the school said it was working with local and federal police to investigate the threats. “It is important to note that even after being completely clear, we all have to be diligent about our surroundings and activities or materials may be out of place on campus. ,” declare read.

“I want to believe that we live in a developing world and that people are not going to use bomb threats to prevent such talented young men and women from receiving an education that they cannot afford. they deserve it, but I also can’t say it doesn’t pass Lewis said. “Especially because it, ironically, happened on the first day of Black History Month.”

“Black colleges and universities are at the heart of black excellence,” Kalu asserts. “They include Black people from many different backgrounds, ethnicities, and social classes. Students can apologize on their own. … Unfortunately, many still see this Negro’s excellence as a threat. ”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/hbcu-students-on-edge-after-fresh-round-of-bomb-threats-at-start-of-black-history-month?source=articles&via=rss HBCU students ‘on the rise’ after threats from a new series of bombs at the beginning of a dark history month

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