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Xavier, Southern among more than a dozen HBCUs nationwide to receive bomb threats

Freshman move-in at Xavier University of Louisiana on August 12, 2016.
Irving Johnson III
Xavier University of Louisiana
Freshman move-in at Xavier University of Louisiana on August 12, 2016.

More than a dozen historically Black colleges and universities received bomb threats early this week prompting campus lockdowns and investigations on at least two Louisiana school campuses.

Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans received a bomb threat early Tuesday morning, according to an emergency alert sent to students and staff.

The alert instructed students to stay in their rooms and announced that class would be held remotely until noon.

Officials later said that the campus had been cleared and classes would resume as planned.

Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge received a bomb threat Monday morning, and the campus was placed on lockdown. Classes were also canceled for the day.

Campus police and law enforcement searched the campus, and no explosives were found. The campus remained closed for the remainder of the day except for residential students to access the school’s dining and fitness facilities.

Normal operations resumed Tuesday, according to a tweet from school officials.

The university’s campuses in New Orleans and Shreveport did not receive any threats.

As of Tuesday at 1 p.m., no other Louisiana HBCUs had reported threats, but were on guard.

Dillard University said in a statement that it was aware of the bomb threats directed at other HBCUs, but had not received one itself.

“While Dillard has not received any threats at this time, we are actively monitoring the situation and are prepared to activate emergency plans if necessary,” the statement said.

A spokesperson for Grambling University in Grambling, Louisiana, also confirmed that the HBCU hadn’t received any threats.

Xavier, and at least eight other HBCUs nationwide, also received bomb threats in early January.

For that threat, police said someone called the university to report an explosive and threatened to shoot up campus. The university was evacuated and searched, and no bombs were located.

So far, nothing has been found at any of the schools that received threats, and authorities have not released any details into who might be making them.

School leaders across the country have called on the FBI to “aggressively” investigate the threats. In a statement, the FBI said it was aware of the series of threats and was working with its law enforcement partners to address them.

Aubri Juhasz covers K-12 education, focusing on charter schools, education funding, and other statewide issues. She also helps edit the station’s news coverage.

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