Doug Emhoff Evacuated from Black History Month Appearance at School After Bomb Threat: 'We Have to Go'

A spokesman said later Tuesday that the high school was subsequently cleared and no explosive or device was found

Doug Emhoff
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (left) leaves an event at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Shutterstock

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff's planned appearance for Black History Month at a Washington, D.C., high school was cut short on Tuesday afternoon because of a bomb threat.

"U.S. Secret Service was made aware of a security threat at a school where the Second Gentleman was meeting with students and faculty," an Emhoff spokeswoman said in a statement shared with PEOPLE.

The spokeswoman said he "is safe and the school has been evacuated. We are grateful to Secret Service and D.C. Police for their work."

Emhoff, 57, had planned to meet with students at Dunbar High School to highlight a program they're participating in, in partnership with the National Park Service, "that helps them relate to history on a personal level," Emhoff's office said.

Emhoff and a park ranger were to "meet with school leaders and program directors, prior to having a conversation with a group of students about the films and projects they're creating as part of their involvement in this program."

Instead, about five minutes into his appearance at the school on Tuesday afternoon, Emhoff "was ushered out of the room ... by a Secret Service agent," according to the reporters with him.

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"The agent said something like, 'We have to go,' " the press pool reported.

The school principal followed a few minutes later.

A district spokesman said in a statement to PEOPLE that D.C. police "responded to a bomb threat at Dunbar High School. All students and visitors were safely evacuated in accordance with DC Public Schools protocols and given the time of the incident, students were then dismissed for the school day."

"DC Public Schools values the safety of all students, staff, and visitors and will continue to support the Dunbar community as MPD investigates this incident," the district spokesman said.

The spokesman said later Tuesday that the high school was subsequently cleared and no explosive or device was found. Some remaining students and staff were allowed to go back, the spokesman said.

It was unclear if there was a connection between the threat and Emhoff's trip or the month.

"A school announcement came over the intercom at 2:34 [p.m. local time] calling on teachers to evacuate the school and pool left the building as well," the traveling reporters said.

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