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Allison Joyner

Students move on campus with no updates from last semester’s bomb threats

West End

Atlanta has provided up to $48,000 to three initiatives that seek to improve West End and the Morehouse College area. (Photo by Donita Pendered.)

Feb. 23 was the last update given by the FBI. 

By Allison Joyner

This month, as college students are moving onto campus for the fall 2022 semester, A specter is still looming.

And as students moved in for the first time or returned for another school year around metro Atlanta, the suspects involved in making threats to schools in the Atlanta University Center (AUC)  and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) are still at large.

At the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester, a slew of threats, including the warning of weapons, suspicious packages and active shooters were given to at least 37 HBCUs over the course of several weeks. Many were made to multiple institutions within the same day, making the pattern more than coincidental. With the majority of the threats occurring in February — Black History Month — many believe the threats were racially motivated. 

In addition to HBCUs, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) reported on Feb. 23 that these threats were also occurring at houses of worship and other faith-based and academic institutions. 

 

 

“I am actively monitoring this situation and working with federal law enforcement agencies to address these potential dangers facing our HBCUs,” said Sen. Raphael Warnock, Democratic Georgia Senate Candidate, who attended Morehouse College, which received a “suspicious package” threat on March 14. 

Now six months later, law enforcement has given no information on who is responsible for the threats leaving students, professors and administrators to take the emotional brunt of the fallout, compromising their safety and mental health.   

SaportaReport informed Nancy Montier, a licensed mental health therapist in Silver Springs, MD, that the FBI didn’t have updates at this time when she and her husband, Chip, finished moving in their older daughter, Caroline, to her freshmen dorm at Spelman College. The all-female institution received four bomb threats last semester. 

She said she was aware of the numerous threats that happened last semester, but the mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., Highland Park, Ill. and Uvalde, Texas, since those threats moved them to the back of her mind. 

Side entrance of Spelman College.
(Photo by Halle Jones.)

“In the world, we live in today, you can go to the grocery store and be a victim of a mass shooting,” Montier said. 

“I hate to think if this was a white school being threatened, there would have been another report by now,”  her husband added.

It’s unfortunate that the Montiers and thousands of concerned parents also have this fear. 

With the lack of information given by law enforcement, several questions start to form — one being why there has not been any update provided to the public on this investigation since February.

Days after Spelman’s second threat, the FBI announced six "tech–savvy" juveniles as persons of interest but nothing was reported if charges were officially made. Have these persons of interest become suspects officially, or are others suspected of these heinous crimes?

More questions still: Could this happen again this semester? What measures have been taken to protect our beloved HBCU students? And what is taking place to make sure this doesn't happen again?

Then you have to think about the schools themselves. What parameters, best practices and protocols are the administrators taking to ensure that school personnel and students are protected to the best of their abilities?

Oner location for the new Center for Black Entrepreneurship will be at the Innovation Lab at Spelman College (Special: Spelman College.)

The beginning of a new school year should mean a fresh start for students. Still, the possibility of these threats happening again this semester hovers over the AUC and the other one hundred HBCUs across the country and U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Additionally, Spelman has recently welcomed Dr. Helene Gayle as its new president, with underlying issues that should have never been left unresolved. Having this absence of justice inherent in this fall semester is unsettling. 

When recently asked if there were any updates to this investigation, an FBI spokesperson told SaportaReport that the agency had “none to provide.” 

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3 Comments

  1. Jamie August 23, 2022 12:08 pm

    Great points! ! It’s super concerning how our society is so desensitized to the terrible stuff we see and hear about. We react in anger and concern until something else preoccupies our mind.

    I attended a HBCU and it always feels like a safe space for me…a home away from home. And I know many who share similar feelings. I truly hope that law enforcement is still fully investigating these incidents. And you are right, an update is needed!Report

    Reply
  2. Richard Calvert October 5, 2022 11:54 am

    This kind of news always blows my mind, because I remember studying there, and it’s a good thing I didn’t encounter it. Even though I was swept up in the wave of black lives matter, but it bypassed us, we only looked at the story in essay format as examples from https://www.studydriver.com/black-lives-matter-essay/ as a reference point. And this is the only event that somehow interfered with my studies.Report

    Reply

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