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Recent bomb threats at HBCUs nationwide raise safety concerns at Paul Quinn College in Dallas

Sign that reads "Paul Quinn College"
Keren Carrión
The president of Paul Quinn College says the school works closely with law enforcement in case any threats arise.

The president of Paul Quinn College says the campus will remain vigilant.

Recent bomb threats against historically Black colleges and universities are raising safety concerns across the country and one North Texas school is among those taking precautions.

The schools that were targeted last week include Howard University in Washington D.C. and Spelman College in Atlanta. Investigators have not found explosive devices at the campuses but the threats that occurred earlier this year caught the attention of federal law enforcement.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces are investigating the threats as potential hate crimes tied to "racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism."

The Department of Homeland Security cited the threats as a key factor for a "heightened threat environment" in a National Terrorism Advisory Bulletin published earlier this week.

Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, says his school was not directly threatened, but is prioritizing safety by working closely with law enforcement.

"We have done that by being vigilant, being disciplined and working in close partnership with the law enforcement community" Sorrell said.

Sorrell says the recent threats at colleges across the U.S. reflect national tensions.

"We live in a country where the temperament has turned ugly, and to expect that ugliness not to manifest itself in hatred against institutions such as ours would be unrealistic," he said.

Elsewhere in Texas, Prairie View A&M University was among colleges that received bomb threats in early January. John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, said in a statement this week that he condemns these acts.

“The threats of HBCU campuses are a threat to all of higher education and cannot be tolerated,” he said.

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the breaking news reporter for KERA News.