Bomb-Threatened HBCUs Receive Emergency Response Grants From U.S. Department of Education
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Bomb-Threatened HBCUs Receive Emergency Response Grants From U.S. Department of Education

A sign welcomes visitors to Howard University in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2022. - Authorities are investigating bomb threats made against UDC, Howard University and Morgan State University This is the second day in a row that historically Black colleges and universities across the US were targeted by similar threats. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Department of Education (DoE) has announced grants for two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) that have received bomb threats this year.

The Hill reports the DoE will award $420,000 in Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) funds to Tougaloo College, which reportedly received bomb threats in February. Another $80,000 in grants will go to Fayetteville State University, an HBCU in North Carolina.

“As Secretary of Education, I want to make it abundantly clear that the Biden-Harris administration will not tolerate bomb threats or any efforts to terrorize students of color and everyone who lives, works, and studies at our Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said according to The Hill.

According to the DoE, more than half of the 101 HBCU schools have received bomb threats this year, including Howard University, which reportedly received multiple threats this month as students returned to school.

Other HBCU schools that reportedly received bomb threats include Florida Memorial University, The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Central University, Prairie View A&M, and the Xavier University of Louisiana. No one has been arrested or charged for the threats.

The lack of arrests has upset Black politicians, including Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) who told The Washington Post in March that he’s frustrated by the lack of progress, but added that investigations take time.

“I’m frustrated like everybody else, but I recognize that it’s been six weeks,” Mfume said.

“I think we’ve got to let the investigative process work its way through.”

The grant money will be used to support student trauma recovery programs, hire additional security staff, and expand mental health support. The DoE said it will announce more Project SERV grants to HBCU schools in the future.

“We will continue to work with our partners across the administration —using a whole-of-government approach — to make sure HBCU leaders have access to all available federal resources to respond to threats of violence, shore up campus security, expand their infrastructure and capacity, and provide students with the safe and nurturing learning environments that HBCUs are known for,” Cardona added.


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