Second gentleman Doug Emhoff is safe after being ushered out of a room at a Washington, DC, high school by the Secret Service after a bomb threat to the building, his spokesperson said.
“U.S. Secret Service was made aware of a security threat at a school where the @SecondGentleman was meeting with students and faculty. Mr. Emhoff is safe and the school has been evacuated. We are grateful to Secret Service and D.C. Police for their work,” Emhoff’s spokesperson Katie Peters wrote on Twitter.
Vice President Kamala Harris has been in touch with Emhoff since the evacuation and “he’s OK,” a White House official said.
District of Columbia Public Schools press secretary Enrique Gutierrez told reporters at the event that a bomb threat had been called into Dunbar High School in Northwest Washington, where Emhoff was holding an event.
“We had a threat today to the facility, so we did — basically we took the precaution of evacuating everybody, as you saw. I think everyone is safe. The building is clear. But I don’t have any specific details at this moment,” Gutierrez told reporters at the event.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to CNN that a bomb threat had been made. Later, the spokesperson told CNN the security threat was made by telephone and the investigation is ongoing.
Dunbar High School Principal Nadine Smith told reporters with the second gentleman that the children at the school had been sent home for the day.
“Our protocol is to clear the building and move the kids away. DCPS just gave us directions to make sure, to go ahead and send the kids home. We won’t be able to clear the building for probably another hour or two,” Smith told the reporters.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, police had set up a perimeter around the school and two K-9 units were on scene.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at Tuesday’s news briefing that she did not have any updates on the situation but would update if the White House gets more information during the briefing.
Emhoff was visiting the school, located about two miles northeast of the White House, for a
Black History Month event. He was scheduled to meet with school leaders, program directors, and students participating in a program that helps them relate to history on a personal level.
As part of the program, which is done through a partnership with the National Parks Service students are provided opportunities to serve as docents and historical scholars on the life of Carter Woodson and local Black history, according to the White House.
Last week, at the start of Black History Month, at least 14 different historically Black colleges and universities received bomb threats. The FBI said Tuesday that the threats are being investigated as hate crimes and called the probe “of the highest priority for the Bureau.” Suspects in the threats have been identified, but it’s not clear if they are all related.
The bomb threat against the high school also comes a week after CNN reported that Harris drove within several yards of a pipe bomb lying next to a bench outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters on January 6, 2021.
Multiple law enforcement officials familiar with the situation told CNN that the then-vice president-elect remained inside the DNC for nearly two hours before the bomb was discovered.
The DC Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit is on the scene at the school, according to MPD spokesperson Kristen Metzger.