-Several historically Black colleges and universities in the United States gave students and staff an all clear on Monday after bomb threats earlier in the day forced schools to issue shelter-in-place orders and cancel classes.
Albany State University in Georgia, Delaware State University in Delaware, Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana, Howard University in Washington, Bowie State University in Maryland and Bethune-Cookman University in Florida were among the schools that received threats on Monday morning.
At Delaware State University, campus police issued an “all-clear” about 12:45 p.m. EST, lifting a lockdown for residential students who had been sheltering in dorm rooms throughout the morning.
“No classes for the rest of the day, but everything will be back to normal tomorrow,” said spokesman Carlos Holmes, after the school told employees and students to stay away until further notice.
It was the second time this month that Black colleges and universities faced bomb threats. On Jan. 5, eight historically Black colleges and universities received such threats, but no suspicious packages or explosives were found.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that bomb threats against Black universities were “disturbing” and that President Joe Biden was aware of the reports of those threats.
Federal and local authorities investigated.
“It is a federal crime to use interstate facilities to make a bomb threat,” Tom Chittum, acting deputy director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) told reporters in a call.
Bowie State University lifted its shelter-in-place order about 2 p.m. EST. Officials told students and staff earlier to shelter-in-place and closed the campus for the day.
Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, was placed on lockdown, the Daytona Beach Police Department said. Police said around noon they had “cleared the campus of any bomb threat.”
The District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department said that at Howard University the “scene was cleared without any hazardous materials being found.”
Southern University and A&M College gave an “all clear” to its students and staff after police searched the campus. The campus was to resume normal business on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien, Kanishka Singh, Barbara Goldberg and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Mark Porter, Paul Simao and Howard Goller)