Maryland HBCUs: Morgan State, Coppin State and Bowie State University (whose campus is pictured above) have joined the growing list of HBCU campuses across the country to have received bomb threats on the cusp of Black History Month, between Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. (Courtesy of Bowie State University)

By Reginald L. Allen II,
Special to the AFRO

At 6:17 a.m. on Feb. 1, Morgan State University alerted its students to shelter in place and conduct classes remotely in response to a bomb threat that was received. Morgan State becomes another name added to the ongoing list of HBCUs that have received a bomb threat within the past two days. 

So far, more than 10 schools have received bomb threats this week, 20 schools in total.

On Jan. 31, Howard University, Bowie State University and several other HBCUs received similar bomb threats forcing the schools to lockdown or close. For Howard University, this was their second confirmed threat in the month of January.

Reagan Wade, senior biology major from Howard University said that she is not surprised by the recent bomb threats. “I think it is a pattern. It is usually the same schools around this time that will receive threats of some sort, like NCAT, Morehouse, Spelman, etc.”

Wade said with Howard being an open campus, the security and police presence has ramped up with student and civilian activity being low. 

Dr. David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, recently released a statement to the Morgan State community addressing the current concern.

Wilson said, “Dear Morgan Family, Since sending out an alert earlier this morning about the bomb threat we received, a few of you have contacted me to inquire as to whether this is real. Unfortunately, and sadly, it is.” 

Wilson later stated that residential halls were being searched and cleared, followed by Rawlings Dining Hall and the Student Center to ensure that students will be fed. 

“Morgan is one of the most historical and consequential universities in the nation. Our history has been one where we have endured all kinds of challenges and disruptions, but we have always emerged stronger. I’m hopeful that these bomb threats to our National Treasure, and to many of our other sister HBCU institutions, will be aggressively investigated by the FBI,” Wilson said. 

Olivia Watts, pictured above, is a junior computer science major at Bowie State University. (Courtesy photo)

Wilson concluded the email reminding the university that students must stay strong, resilient, and continue to “grow the future and lead the world.” He reminded students that their values are Leadership, Integrity, Innovation, Diversity, Excellence and Respect and that, “Hate is not one of them!”

Olivia Watts, junior computer science major from Bowie State questioned the decision to continue instruction after a stressful event. 

“They did not think about the mental aspect of students..” Watts said, “Before the bomb threat news was released to the press, they were still saying we have classes virtually. I thought, ‘What about the people that are worried and scared they are going to die?”

Watts said she and many of her classmates were distracted in class because of the threat.

She later suggested that classes should have been canceled for the day to make sure everyone was okay. “Why would they be worried about going to class and getting good grades when they are trying to live? Watts said, “Even though there are counseling services and a comfort dog, they did not think about the during and how it affects the students.”

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