From USA Today:
Air Force Academy head: Racists ‘need to get out’ after prep school incidentFrom the Colorado Springs Gazette today:
Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY Published 9:20 a.m. ET Sept. 29, 2017 |
In the wake of racial slurs scrawled on Air Force Academy prep school message boards, the superintendent of the academy stood all 4,000 cadets at attention and delivered a blistering speech on tolerance, telling them to record his words on smartphones so they won’t forget them: “If you demean someone in any way, you need to get out.”
Sporting three stars on his green camouflage uniform, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria repeatedly leaned forward at the lectern to deliver his message Thursday: “You should be outraged.”
As Silveria delivered the stern, five-minute lecture, investigators interviewed cadet candidates at the prep school to determine who wrote “Go Home” followed by an epithet on message boards outside the rooms of five black students.
The Colorado Springs-area prep school, whose student body traditionally includes more than 50% recruited athletes, gives cadet candidates a year of rigorous tutoring to help them meet the academy’s strict academic standards.
“Security Forces are looking into the matter,” Lt. Col. Allen Herritage said in an email without elaboration, The Gazette reported.
Social media fuels ‘hysteria’ over reported shooter at Air Force AcademyWhat is a military academy prep school anyway?
By: Tom Roeder September 30, 2017 Updated: 30 minutes ago
A Nerf gun battle at the Air Force Academy was reported as shots fired, setting off a campus-wide panic Friday night that prompted a lockdown and left cadets huddled under their dorm room desks and some texting their parents goodbye.
Officials at the school say the false alarm, which is under investigation, drove a furor on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Yikyak, which turned a minor incident into the “War of the Worlds.”
Several sources at the academy say the fuse was lit by an innocent battle with Nerf guns at the academy’s preparatory school that was reported in a 911 call as an active shooter on the campus of the military school north of Colorado Springs.
“Mass hysteria,” said an Air Force Academy officer who wasn’t authorized to discuss the event and requested anonymity. …
The incident was taken so seriously by academy leaders that they called in their “crisis action team,” a group of leaders who manage emergencies at the school.
Then Twitter kicked in, in a big way.
Reports of one, then three, then eight shooters emerged.
Across Facebook, stories emerged of cadets texting their parents, with some saying goodbye.
One cadet wrote that he was sure he’d be fine. “I just wanted somebody to panic with me,” he wrote.
One Twitter account that claimed to be tied to a cadet squadron reported that the alleged shooters were dressed as police.
The ensuing panic drew another 911 call reporting shooters were at the academy’s biggest dorms, Sijan and Vandenberg. Scores of text messages to academy security forces followed.
“Trust no one,” a tweet read.
Police from around the Pikes Peak region raced to the Academy to assist, with El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies and Colorado Springs police leading the pack. Local SWAT teams put on their black, armored uniforms and rolled out to address what appeared to be a siege at the academy.
Traffic on police radios showed the level of hysteria. False reports included cadets leaping from dorm windows to escape the shadowy perpetrators. …
At the academy, where some were convinced that anyone in a police uniform could be a mass-killer, panic proved hard to contain. …
Part of the panic may be attributed to an earlier incident that put the academy on edge.
On Tuesday, an unidentified vandal wrote racial slurs on the message boards of five black cadet candidates at the academy’s prep school.
… Because the racial incident and the alleged shooting were both reported at the 240-student prep school, the Friday night panic gained steam.
“First racist messages struck United States Air Force Academy and now an active shooter?” a Twitter user wrote. …
From the New York Times in 2013:
The Military Prep School ScamMy Taki’s Magazine column this week was about some of the weird ways football, race, rape, corruption, and hysteria are increasingly intertwined in America.
JOE NOCERA APRIL 8, 2013
Is there any institution of higher learning that isn’t gaming the system to gain athletic advantage? I’ve come to believe the answer is no.
… Incredibly, even the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and West Point, charged with training the next generation of military leaders, systematically abandon their standards and admissions processes when a good athlete is within reach. Their highly questionable enrollment practices make one wonder whether the academies care as much about their mission these days as they do about winning football games.
There are two ways the military academies sneak in athletes who fail to meet their admissions standards. First, they all operate prep schools whose original purpose — preparing promising enlisted personnel for the rigors of an academy education — is long outdated.
Instead, the prep schools, which cost taxpayers around $25 million or so per year, are used for other purposes, including “redshirting” athletes — that is, stockpiling them for a year — when their high school records would prevent them from being admitted directly from high school. For instance, of the 300 students in the 2011 class of the Naval Academy Prep School, 110 are recruited athletes — typical for the other service academies. Oh, and they get paid a monthly stipend — which would seem to be a rather blatant violation of N.C.A.A. rules.
… Nearly 80 percent of the 52-member Navy lacrosse team came through the Naval Academy Prep School; for returning football lettermen, the percentage is around two-thirds. …
Of course, these practices are troubling for reasons that go far beyond the N.C.A.A. Is it really appropriate for our military academies to favor recruited athletes over more qualified candidates? Surely there’s a lot more at stake when the academies lower their admissions standards than when, say, Auburn does.