Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff escorted out of Black History school event after bomb threat

The Secret Service and the FBI are investigating the incident, which happened the same day Spelman College reported another bomb threat of its own.

Loading the player...

Secret Service evacuated Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff from a northwest D.C. high school after a confirmed bomb threat on Tuesday. Emhoff was visiting a museum at Dunbar High School for a Black History Month event. 

US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff arrive at the Elysee Palace for the inaugural dinner on the first day of the Paris Peace Forum on November 11, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

The Secret Service said this is an ongoing investigation but emphasized that there’s nothing to indicate that the threat was directed against Mr. Emhoff or the White House. The Secret Service is working with the FBI as they investigate the incident.  

According to press pool reports, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris was “ushered out” at 2:15 p.m. local time. The event was Emhoff’s first public Black History Month event.

A White House source contends that Emhoff was involved in other celebrations this month. Tuesday’s appearance was in partnership with the high school and National Park Service and was previously planned with a pool of White House reporters following the second gentleman for the event.

Dunbar High School is a historically Black school and is the nation’s first public high school for Black students. It has attracted prominent figures to the school over the years, including musical icon Stevie Wonder.

Large metal letters spelling out DUNBAR grace the entrance at the new Dunbar High School. Photos preview the grand opening (soon) of the new $160 million state-of-the-art school building at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School. Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Details of the event with the second gentleman came from the pool report from Spectrum News as follows:

“SGOTUS was ushered out of the room at 2:18 p.m. by a Secret Service agent. The agent said something like, “We have to go.” Dunbar’s principal followed a few minutes later,” read the pool report.

SGOTUS staff informed the pool there was a security threat reported by the school to secret service. They did not give pool any more information. 

A school announcement came over the intercom at 2:34 calling on teachers to evacuate the school and pool left the building as well. 

Black History Month has been a focus of the White House as the Biden-Harris administration recognizes the importance of not just the contributions of Black Americans but also the power of the Black vote, which has been and will be pivotal in their continued White House efforts. 

As a precaution, if anything is reported to authorities in the downtown D.C. area it is followed by heightened security around the perimeter of the White House. During the time of the bomb scare at Dunbar High School, the streets surrounding the White House were shut down. 

Meanwhile, another bomb threat was reported Tuesday in Atlanta at another Black learning institution. Spelman College, the top HBCU in the country, tweeted Tuesday afternoon: “The campus was on lockdown for four hours while officials completed a thorough sweep of the campus. Classes are canceled for today and the campus is closed to visitors.”

(Photo: Spelman College)

As threats continue to hit HBCU campuses across the country, the Southern Poverty Law Center held a national roundtable Tuesday that included government leaders and several presidents from HBCUs to discuss the security issue. 

Deputy Assistant Education Secretary Dr. Michelle Asha Cooper said the White House is taking every threat seriously. 

“Please know that the threats are being taken very seriously by Secretary Cardona, the U.S Department of Education Secretary and the leadership at the US Department of Education,” Dr. Cooper said on the call. 

“The timing of these threats coinciding with the first day of Black History Month was likely an attempt to exploit tensions amongst some factions of our society. The threats that we witnessed last week and throughout the month of January and even now we’re hearing that there’s some other threats.”

She emphasized, “These threats are reminiscent of the civil rights era bomb threats against Black people is an unfortunate part of American history.”

Photograph of the Congress of Racial Equality conducted march in memory of Negro youngsters killed in Birmingham bombings. Dated 1963. (Photo by: Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Cooper acknowledged that the White House is concerned about the rash of bomb threats, adding, “The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force are leading the investigation into these nationwide bomb threats. And these investigations are being given the highest priority.” 

Early reports have revealed six juvenilles are a focus of the investigation of bomb threats made against several HBCUs. 

The president of Edward Waters College, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, said,“This is rooted in many respects out of ignorance and not necessarily in a pejorative sense but in the literal sense that our young people are not being exposed to history and not being exposed to the truth. I certainly am hopeful that we won’t see a softening of whatever kind of response that there might be if, in fact, they are found to have been guilty of this heinous crime.”

Alcorn State University President, Dr. Felecia Nave, said her students “are traumatized but…they’re resilient, and they are resolved to continue to move forward and to make it known that we won’t be threatened, we won’t be scared away that we will continue to contribute to society in a greater sense.”

In addition, Dr. Cooper said “The White House Initiative on HBCUs is also coordinating a government wide approach, they convened a campus safety and resiliency cluster, led by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland security.”

Each threat is being taken seriously, however, there is a concern from authorities in D.C. that many of these bomb threats are copy cat in nature.

TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!” 

Loading the player...