The incident comes after similar threats were made against several Black colleges and universities across the country.
Douglas Emhoff, the husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris, was ushered out of an event at a Washington high school by security forces after a bomb threat, school authorities said.
Emhoff was at Dunbar High School on Tuesday for an event in commemoration of Black History Month. He was in the school’s museum for about five minutes before a member of his security detail approached him saying, “We have to go.” Emhoff was removed from the building into his waiting motorcade.
The development comes after several Black colleges and universities have received bomb threats in recent weeks, leading the institutions to close for the day, or order students to shelter in place. No suspicious packages or explosives have been found so far, but the threats – which are taking place during Black History month – have been rattling nerves.
District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) confirmed that it was a bomb threat that led to the evacuation. Dunbar High School, according to DCPS, is the country’s first public high school to serve Black students.
“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”, the DCPS spokesperson said.
Howard University in Washington, DC, one of the nation’s most prestigious Black universities, received bomb threats on January 31 and on February 1 — two days in a row.
Emhoff spokesperson Katie Peters said the school alerted the Secret Service about what she termed a “security incident or a report of a potential security incident”.
“U.S. Secret Service was made aware of a security threat at a school where the Second Gentleman was meeting with students and faculty,” Peters added in a later tweet. “Mr. Emhoff is safe and the school has been evacuated. We are grateful to Secret Service and D.C. Police for their work.”
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.
— Katie Peters (@KatiePeters46) February 8, 2022
Students and teachers at Dunbar High School were also asked to evacuate the building, and classes were dismissed for the day since it was expected to take several hours for security officials to sweep the building, principal Nadine Smith said.