Air Force Academy Rocked by Scandal: Cadets who cheat, are into porno, are drunk and academically not prepared for college

In recent years the Air Force Academy has been plagued by sexual harassment scandals and alleged religious proselytising although the latter I felt was trumped up and used for political agendas. Abuse of women cadets, however, was a major scandal that threatened to undermine the academy. My own interaction with the A.F.A. was unique and certainly unanticipated. I was involved in a national story over an e-mail exchange with then-Cadet Robert Kurpiel in 2002 in which I was suspended and reprimanded for denouncing the military and American racist imperialism. I was impressed with the quality of criticism I received from many cadets who deeply resented my e-mail, and I accepted the apology of the A.F.A. in not containing a private correspondence between the parties. They accepted my apologies as well for those portions of my e-mail that were harsh in nature.

In fact the Air Force Academy demonstrated courage in supporting my rights of free speech and a commitment to academic freedom. They worked with me in the early days of the incident to contain it and did evince an independence of judgment and commitment to free speech that should be a model for others to abide by. I have documented this event extensively on my website, in my blog and in academic publications. I will never stop doing so as we need to be vigilant against those who wish to censor, suppress and destroy progressive, non-conformist views within the academy. This will not happen ever again on my watch without vigorous resistance and robust assertion of rights.
The Air Force Academy is investigating allegations of cheating by 28 freshmen and has restricted all 4,300 cadets to campus over the weekend, asking them to meet in small groups to consider “their self-image and the image of the institution,” Air Force officials said yesterday…

Forty-three cadets lost their Internet privileges in January because they had downloaded pornography or visited pornographic Web sites, and there have been recurring incidents of alcohol abuse, academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said.

Nineteen percent of the freshman class was failing academically at the end of the fall semester, giving it the lowest collective grade-point average in 20 years, he added…

In a brief statement this week, the academy said that 19 cadets, so far, have admitted cheating on a Jan. 31 “fourth-class knowledge test,” a routine exam on military affairs given weekly to all 1,200 freshmen. Among the 28 cadets under suspicion of cheating are 19 intercollegiate athletes, the academy said. None of their names has been released…

Cadets said they have been ordered to go through their computer files this weekend and erase any improper data, including illegally acquired music and videos as well as pornography. They said they will also be required to attend a luncheon discussion and hear a speaker. The academy had originally planned to cancel regular activities on Monday, but that order was rescinded, cadets said.

For the rest of the story see Washington Post.

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