- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A racist incident at the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School that triggered a viral speech by the superintendent telling bigoted cadets to “get out” has been deemed a hoax.

In September, racial slurs were found written on the dormitory message boards of five black cadet candidates at the prep school in Colorado Springs, sparking an investigation. The incident prompted a fiery speech by the school’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, who said cadets who can’t treat others with respect should leave.

The school said Tuesday that one of the five cadet candidates has since admitted to writing the slurs himself.

“Racism has no place at the academy, in any shape or form,” said Lt. Col. Allen Herritage, spokesman for the academy, the Air Force Times reported. “We will continue to create a climate of dignity and respect for all, encourage ideas that do so, and hold those who fail to uphold these standards accountable.”

Lt. Gen. Silveria stood by his speech Tuesday in an statement to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

“Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed,” he said. “You can never over-emphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect — and those who don’t understand those concepts, aren’t welcome here.”

The cadet candidate is no longer a student at the prep school, Lt. Col. Herritage said. He declined to say whether the student withdrew or was expelled, citing privacy laws.

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