State-sanctioned report tells of sexual assault, racism at Virginia Military Institute


FILE – This July 15, 2020 file photo shows the barracks at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. Virginia Military Institute’s Board of Visitors voted Thursday, Oct. 29 to remove the prominent statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson that stands in front of the barracks on campus. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

LEXINGTON CITY, VA (AP) — A state-sanctioned report says the Virginia Military Institute has tolerated and failed to address institutional racism and sexism and must be held accountable for making changes.

The report was put together by an independent law firm and released Tuesday by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and other state officials ordered an investigation after The Washington Post reported that Black cadets and alumni faced “relentless racism.” The state-sanctioned report says racist slurs and jokes are not uncommon and that sexual assault is prevalent yet inadequately addressed.

VMI was founded in 1839 and is the nation’s oldest state-supported military college. It didn’t accept African Americans until 1968 or women until the 1990s.

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