Virginia Governor’s budget includes emergency funding to protect historically Black colleges and universities
- Written by Paul Bibeau
- Category: Local News
- Published: 11 March 2022
After a wave of bomb threats to historically Black colleges and universities, Virginia's governor is pushing for money to help them bolster security.
“These unprecedented bomb threats… have to be stopped,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin told reporters this week while visiting Norfolk. Youngkin said he’d consulted with university leaders and had emergency funding put into the state budget.
Youngkin said state officials are hammering out the details on how increased funding could help the campuses. March 12 is the deadline for state lawmakers to complete the budget.
“There’s discussions around the amount,” he said, “to make sure we can provide both an increased level of presence and security on campus, and bring some technology innovation to help them better monitor their campuses.”
Norfolk State University and Hampton University both received bomb threats at the end of last month. They briefly locked down their campuses. For NSU, it was the second bomb threat in two months.
Since the beginning of the year more than 50 HBCUs and other institutions received a rash of bomb threats. More than a third of all HBCUs nationwide have been targeted.
Like NSU, Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Spelman College in Atlanta, received multiple threats.
The FBI is investigating the threats, but has uncovered no devices and made no arrests.
“The bomb threats have been made in phone calls, e-mails, instant messages, and anonymous online posts,” the FBI said in a Feb. 23 statement. “FBI agents from multiple field offices are conducting hundreds of interviews and gathering a variety of electronic evidence for analysis.”
It added that it was investigating many of the cases as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.