Second gentleman Doug Emhoff was escorted from the museum in Dunbar High School due to a bomb threat reported by the school to secret service.
The Dunbar principal followed him out. An announcement came over the intercom minutes later telling teachers to evacuate the school, according to the pool report.
“We had a threat today to the facility so we did — basically we took the precaution of evacuating everybody, as you saw,” DC Public School spokesperson Enrique Gutierrez told the pool. “I think everyone is safe. The building is clear. But I don’t have any specific details at this moment.”
“It was a bomb threat,” he added.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to CNN that a bomb threat had been made.
“U.S. Secret Service was made aware of a security threat at a school where the Second Gentleman
was meeting with students and faculty,” Emhoff Communications Director Katie Peters tweeted. “Mr. Emhoff is safe and the school has been evacuated. We are grateful to Secret Service and D.C. Police for their work.”
The students were sent home.
“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,” Dunbar Principal Nadine Smith told the pool. “We won’t be able to clear the building for probably another hour or two.”
Dunbar was the country’s first public school for Black students. Emhoff’s appearance was tied to a Black history month event.
Tuesday’s incident is the latest in a rash of bomb threats to Black institutions, primarily Historically Black Colleges and Univeristies (HBCUs).
Earlier Tuesday, Atlanta’s Spelman College canceled classes and told students to shelter in place while police investigated its third bomb threat of the year. About two dozen HBCUs have already received such threats in 2022.
The rash of scares prompted the FBI to release a statement last week.
“The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces are leading the investigation into the nationwide series of bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and houses of worship,” the agency said in a statement. “This investigation is of the highest priority for the Bureau and involves more than 20 FBI field offices across the country. These threats are being investigated as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.”
The FBI added that, so far, no explosive devices have been found at any of the threatened locations.