By:  Sarah Fearing
Source: WAVY TV-10

Senate, House pass resolutions condemning recent bomb threats against HBCUs

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday passed bipartisan resolutions condemning recent bomb threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) applauded the passage of the Senate resolution in a news release Tuesday evening.

The resolutions reaffirm the government’s commitment to combatting violence against students, faculty, and staff.

Since January, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported 44 bomb threats involving HBCUs, including at Norfolk State University and Hampton University in Hampton Roads.

The Senate resolution was led by Sens. (D-Del.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.)

“The unanimous passage of this resolution underscores the strong condemnation of recent threats against HBCUs and need to conduct thorough investigations to hold perpetrators accountable,” Sens. Kaine and Warner said in a prepared statement in a news release Tuesday. “We’ll continue to help HBCUs access federal resources to keep their campuses safe, and we remain committed to combatting hate and violence.”

concurrent resolution was also up for discussion in the House of Representatives Tuesday. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) led the floor debate and give remarks.

The House Committee on Education and Labor press secretary confirmed via email that the House passed the resolution Tuesday night.

Here are Scott’s remarks from the floor debate: 

“Over the past few months, more than thirty of our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities—including Norfolk State University and Hampton University in my district—have faced an alarming series of bomb threats.

“These threats of violence against HBCU students, staff, and communities are deplorable and unacceptable.  In response, schools were forced to cancel classes and lock down campuses and dormitories, disrupting students’ education and depriving them of their sense of safety.

“After some prodding, Members of Congress were briefed by the Department of Justice and learned that the FBI is investigating these threats as racially motivated and possible hate crimes.  It should not go unnoticed that these current threats underscore the very reason HBCUs were established in the first place: to eliminate the barriers to higher education for Black students by creating safe, affirming, and high-quality institutions.

“Mr. Speaker, we should all agree that every student in this country deserves to attend a school with a safe and supportive campus.

“This resolution not only condemns the recent threats of violence, but also reaffirms our shared commitment to protecting the safety of HBCU students.

“I want to thank Congresswoman Adams for her leadership in crafting this resolution.  And I urge all my colleagues to send a unified message that these disgusting threats of violence will not be tolerated.”

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.)

On Wednesday, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) also issued a statement on the resolution, which she cosponsored.

“The bomb threats made against HBCUs in Virginia and across the country in recent weeks during Black History Month are deeply concerning and should be investigated thoroughly.

“I am proud to have cosponsored and voted for this bipartisan resolution to condemn these racially motivated crimes and to support our HBCU students and staff. As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the safety of our HBCUs.”

On Wednesday, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) also issued a statement on the resolution, which she cosponsored.