Howard University student president testifies before Congress on bomb threats

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“When bigoted and cowardly actors began issuing violent bomb threats at Howard University and dozens of HBCUs in early 2022, it was clear that their intentions were to dismantle the hallowed pinnacles of black excellence. “, said Kylie Burke, president of Howard University. Association.

Since January, 101 historically black colleges and universities have received bomb threats against their campuses, including DC’s Howard University, in many cases resulting in major police interventions and closures.

“When bigoted and cowardly actors began issuing violent bomb threats at Howard University and dozens of HBCUs in early 2022, it was clear that their intentions were to dismantle the hallowed pinnacles of black excellence. “, said Kylie Burke, president of Howard University. Association.

On Thursday, Burke told members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that what happened has heightened anxiety among faculty and staff.

“The added stress and in some cases paranoia students, faculty and staff subsequently endured cannot be underestimated,” Burke told committee members.

The goal was to protect the campus first and then provide resources for students who needed them. Most of the threats were within days of each other and some occurred during Black History Month.

Among the measures taken by the school are the provision of mental health days for those in need, as well as the creation of programs in which the school community could come together to discuss what happened.

“Recognizing the weight of anxiety felt on campus after students were repeatedly woken up with security alerts, sometimes until 2am and 3am…leaving us constantly on edge and we feeling like the next threat was imminent,” Burke said.

Burke said the school’s response and the response from other HBCUs demonstrated a united condemnation of those who made the threats.

“Our resilience is a testament to the fact that no threat, real or fictional, can ever stand in the way of our legacy, our community, and our commitment to support each other,” Burke said.

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