Bomb-threatened Black schools eligible for security grants

Mar 16, 2022, 5:40 AM | Updated: 6:28 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Historically Black colleges and universities victimized by recent bomb threats can apply for federal grants under a program designed to help improve campus security and provide mental health resources, Vice President Kamala Harris announced Wednesday.

Harris said more than 80 anonymous bomb threats against historically Black colleges and universities and churches, as well as synagogues and other faith-based and academic institutions, had “brought fear and anxiety to places of peace.”

“They have caused classes to be canceled, dorms to be locked down and communities of faith to be kept apart,” she said at a White House event. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Homeland Security Deputy Secretary John Tien also participated.

The vice president said historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, where the learning was disrupted by the bomb threats are now eligible for Project School Emergency Response to Violence program grants through the U.S. Education Department.

Awards typically range from $50,000 to $150,000 and the money can be used to hire mental health professionals, improve campus security and provide training for security staff.

At least 36 historically Black colleges and universities, more than one-third of the 101 HBCUs in the United States, have been targeted with bomb threats since January 2022, according to the House Oversight Committee, which has scheduled a hearing for Thursday on the matter.

More than a dozen of these schools were targeted in February, which is Black History Month. No devices were found at the institutions that were threatened.

The FBI is investigating the threats as “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.”

“Every American should be able to learn, work, worship and gather without fear,” Harris said. “A harm against any one of our communities is a harm against all of us.”

Harris also addressed Wednesday’s anniversary of the fatal shootings of eight people last March at Atlanta-area spas, including six women of Asian descent. She joined President Joe Biden on a visit to Atlanta shortly after the killings.

Biden remembered the victims, saying in a written statement that the killings “underscored how far we have to go” to fight racism, misogyny and all forms of hate, as well as gun violence.

Harris said the shootings were a reminder of the “terrible cost of violence, xenophobia and hate.”

Dietra Trent, executive director of the White House initiative on historically Black colleges and universities, said the threats, particularly during Black History Month, were “uniquely traumatic” given the history of bombings as a tool of intimidation during the civil rights movement.

“In this context, even the threat of bombings at HBCUs can have a deep and unsettling impact on students, faculty, and staff that significantly disrupts the learning environment,” Trent said in a statement.

Harris spoke a day after the White House announced that her husband, Doug Emhoff, had tested positive for COVID-19. Harris tweeted later Tuesday that he was doing fine and that she had tested negative and would continue to be tested.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Herschel Walker, GOP candidate for the US Senate for Georgia, speaks at a primary watch part...
Associated Press

Herschel Walker paid for girlfriend’s abortion, report says

DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) — Herschel Walker, who has vehemently opposed abortion rights as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, paid for an abortion for his girlfriend in 2009, according to a new report published late Monday. The candidate called the accusation a “flat-out lie” and said he would sue. The Daily Beast spoke […]
21 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs toward the end zone to score against the L...
Associated Press

49ers use defense, Deebo Samuel to beat Rams 24-9

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Deebo Samuel turned a short catch into an electric 57-yard touchdown, Talanoa Hufanga returned an interception for a score and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 24-9 Monday night. Jeff Wilson Jr. also scored on a 32-yard run that gave the Niners (2-2) their seventh straight regular-season […]
21 hours ago
Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele addresses a media conference at Parliament in Well...
Associated Press

Solomon Islands agreed to accord after China references axed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Solomon Islands agreed to sign an accord between the United States and more than a dozen Pacific nations only after indirect references to China were removed, the Solomon Islands foreign minister said Tuesday. “There were some references that put us in a position where we’ll have to choose sides, and […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

After storms, NYC moving location of planned migrant shelter

NEW YORK (AP) — A facility using giant tents to temporarily house migrants being sent to New York City will now be located closer to Manhattan instead of a remote corner of the Bronx, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday, after weekend storms raised concerns over flooding at the original site. The city’s humanitarian relief center […]
21 hours ago
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scores a touchdown against the Denver Broncos durin...
Associated Press

Justices won’t revive Oakland’s lawsuit over loss of Raiders

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Oakland’s last-ditch effort to revive an antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League over the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas in 2020. The city had been seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in its claim that the league violated federal antitrust law by acting like a […]
21 hours ago
Navy Rear Adm. John Wade, commander of Joint Task Force Red Hill, speaks to reporters at a media ro...
Associated Press

Navy admiral to seek community input on Red Hill fuel tanks

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AP) — The commander of the task force responsible for draining fuel from a World War II-era storage tank facility that leaked jet fuel and poisoned Pearl Harbor’s tap water last year said Monday he’s exploring ways to get community feedback. Rear Adm. John Wade told reporters at a news […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Bomb-threatened Black schools eligible for security grants