Friday | February 4, 2022

Scott, HBCU Caucus Co-Chairs Request Information on Recent Threats Targeting HBCUs

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), Representative French Hill (R-Ark.), and Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-N.C.) wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting information about recent bomb threats targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“As the co-chairs of the Congressional HBCU Caucus, we are deeply concerned about these disturbing, repeated threats of violence against these institutions,” the congressmembers wrote. “This situation has caused considerable and understandable alarm in the HBCU community. Students, faculty, and staff should never have to question their safety on campus.”

Read the full letter here or below.

Dear Director Wray and Attorney General Garland:

We are writing to request additional information about what actions are taking place at the federal level in the wake of recent bomb threats targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country. At least 23 HBCUs have reported bomb threats on three separate days as recently as February 1. On Wednesday, January 5, at least eight HBCUs reported receiving bomb threats, disrupting campus operations and prompting local police investigations. Just weeks later, on Monday, January 31, at least six HBCUs reported receiving bomb threats, prompting further investigations by your agencies. On Tuesday, February 1, the first day of Black History Month, at least thirteen HBCUs reported receiving bomb threats.

As the co-chairs of the Congressional HBCU Caucus, we are deeply concerned about these disturbing, repeated threats of violence against these institutions. This situation has caused considerable and understandable alarm in the HBCU community. Students, faculty, and staff should never have to question their safety on campus.

Given the seriousness and urgency of this matter, we respectfully request your response to the following questions no later than February 07, 2022:

  1. What details of the ongoing investigation(s) can be made public at this time?
  2. What progress has been made in identifying the individual(s), groups, or entities responsible for these threats?
  3. What trends or patterns, if any, have your agencies been tracking relating to which HBCUs have been targeted?
  4. How are these developments being regularly communicated to appropriate HBCU leaders and staff?
  5. University presidents and police chiefs have stated that these repeated threats have been a serious drain on institutional and municipal resources. What resources or personnel have your agencies or other law enforcement agencies provided to HBCUs to support them during this time?
  6. What actions are your agencies and other relevant law enforcement entities taking to assist HBCU campuses in their preparedness efforts and response to such threats now and, potentially, in the future?
  7. What best practices for security protocols and preparedness are currently in place, and how are those disseminated?
    1. To what extent do any such best practices include recommendations about how to support faculty, staff, and student mental health, as well as guidance on how to access resources to help implement those recommendations?
  8. What can we and our colleagues do to be helpful as you respond to these threats and work to protect the vital mission of our nation’s HBCUs?

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention and response to this matter. We appreciate your work, and are willing and able to provide any support or assistance you may need. Please confirm receipt of this letter.

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