NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk State University and Elizabeth City State University both received bomb threats on Friday, the latest in a string of threats at historically Black colleges and universities.
Norfolk State officials said at 9:28 a.m. Friday that they had received a threat and asked everyone on campus to shelter in place and stand by for further instructions. Bomb dogs searched the campus and the all-clear was given at 12:25 p.m.
ECSU officials asked students and employees to “leave campus immediately” following a bomb threat Friday morning.
“Students WITHOUT cars: go to Roebuck Stadium Parking Lot @ 1509 Herrington Road for transportation. Off campus across from STEM Complex,” ECSU said.
At 3 p.m., ECSU officials said students could return to their residence halls after authorities inspected dorms and perimeter buildings. Officials said it was safe to return, but they were still asking students to shelter in place at their dorms, as law enforcement was still on campus. Employees were asked to continue to work from home.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper tweeted on Friday, “College campuses should be safe places to learn without fear of violence. The recent threats against HBCUs, including today in Elizabeth City, are extremely concerning. @NCPublicSafety is working with HBCU chancellors to protect our campuses and keep students safe. – RC.”
Dozens of HBCUs have been hit with bomb threats since the start of the year, with many targeted on February 1, the first day of Black History Month. Other Black institutions such as places of worships have also received threats.
Hampton University was targeted with a bomb threat just earlier this week. NSU was first targeted with a bomb threat on Jan. 4, along with several other HBCUs. This is the first time ECSU has received a threat since the start of the year.
The FBI says the investigation into the threats “is of the highest priority for the Bureau,” but no suspects have been arrested yet. No bombs have been found so far.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria tweeted Friday, “Deeply saddened to hear of another bomb threat at an HBCU, this time at Norfolk State University here in Hampton Roads. Praying for the safety of students and staff.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin also released a statement Friday evening about the threats.
“I am angry and deeply concerned by the recent pattern of bomb threats plaguing our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Today, I spoke to the presidents of Virginia’s HBCUs regarding the disturbing repeated threats on their schools. Next week, I will ask the General Assembly to provide emergency funding to our HBCUs for security and campus safety. I am committed to harnessing state resources to support these institutions and will work together with them on a continued coordinated response that ensures the safety of our HBCU students and faculty.”Gov. Glenn Youngkin