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Top Stories of 2018: Racial discrimination at the Coast Guard Academy

The Coast Guard Academy this year has faced pressure to address allegations of discrimination and racial disparities.

A report, examining educational outcomes at the academy, that was released earlier this year found that black cadets are more likely than their peers to face inequalities. That followed allegations of bullying and discriminatory behavior against minority cadets.

Rear Adm. James Rendon, superintendent of the academy, said in a June 2018 op-ed in The Day that "racial discrimination of any kind is not tolerated at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy" and that the academy takes "all reports of discrimination seriously."

Meanwhile, there is an ongoing review by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General into the academy's handling of discrimination and harassment complaints, and whether it took appropriate action in past cases. An inquiry from Congress seeks documents on the academy's handling of these kinds of complaints made by both faculty, staff and cadets at the academy.

A separate report from the inspector general found that Coast Guard officials failed to protect a black female officer who made discrimination and harassment complaints against her superiors.

The head of the Coast Guard, Adm. Karl Schultz, said in response that the report has his full attention. "No one in the Coast Guard should ever face bullying, harassment, or retaliation for reporting wrongdoing. We will protect whistleblowers," he said in a Dec. 13 statement.


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