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FSU gives all-clear after bomb threat prompts evacuation

Normal operations to resume Thursday, school officials say.


Fayetteville State University gave an all-clear update Wednesday afternoon after a bomb threat earlier in the day prompted an evacuation and the cancellation of classes.

The university was expected to resume normal campus operations Thursday.

Campus police gave an all-clear update “signifying buildings are cleared and safe for the return of students, faculty, and staff,’’ the university said in a release. 

Agents with the FBI were among the law enforcement agencies that investigated an “unverified bomb threat’’ earlier Wednesday. It was one of several threats made against historically Black colleges and universities, officials said.

The FBI also investigated a bomb threat made Wednesday at Clafin University in South Carolina.

Because of the heightened level of security on campus, approximately 340 students attending Cross Creek and Cumberland International early colleges that operate on the FSU campus were relocated to Cumberland County Schools office buildings, schools spokesman Lindsay Whitley said.

“We have relocated from two early colleges on campus,” Whitley said Wednesday afternoon. “That’s out of caution related to the bomb threat. This is so parents may pick them up.”

In a release, Fayetteville State said it suspended campus operations, including classes, as part of its policies and procedures.

“University employees and commuter students are asked to exit the campus in an orderly manner,’’ the release said.

“Residential students should shelter in place,” it said.

FSU said the State Bureau of Investigation, the N.C. Highway Patrol, the Fayetteville Police Department, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Fayetteville City/Cumberland County Emergency Management were among the law enforcement agencies that worked to investigate the threat.

According to the release, FSU police closed all exits for entering the campus except for the main exit on W.T. Brown Drive. They also conducted sweeps of buildings and grounds to find devices that may be in suspicious packages or hidden in trash receptacles, work areas, foliage and other obscure spots on the campus.

“The rules of threat response are guided by when a threat is received,” the FSU release stated. “It is important to note that even after an all-clear is given, we must all remain diligent about our surroundings and activity or materials which may be out of place on campus.”

The men's basketball game scheduled for Wednesday night between Fayetteville State and Claflin was moved from Felton J. Capel Arena at FSU to the March F. Riddle Center at Methodist University, the school said.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville State University, Cumberland County schools, campus evacuated, unverified bomb threat, FBI