Naval Academy rescinds offer of appointment for Maryland student who wrote racist messages

Tribune Content Agency

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Naval Academy has rescinded an offer of appointment to a Maryland student after the institution was notified of racist messages the student made.

The student, who attended a Montgomery County high school, made racist, transphobic and sexist statements on chat platform Discord, including one that included saying he would make someone in the group chat his next rape victim.

The messages, which are from 2018, were recently shared on Twitter by one of the student’s classmates, who said he was bothering her after she used the phrase “All cops are bastards,” which is being used by some protesting police brutality and the recent death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others who were killed by police.

The Capital is not identifying the recent high school graduate because he had not yet taken the oath of office required of new midshipmen when they are inducted into the academy.

After evaluating the “racist and inappropriate” messages made by the student, the Naval Academy Admission’s Character Review Committee recommended that the academy withdraw its offer of appointment for the student, said Dean of Admissions Bruce Latta in a statement.

Latta approved the recommendation, with Superintendent Vice Adm. Buck concurring with the dean’s decision.

“The Naval Academy does not condone racism or bigotry of any kind within the U.S. Naval Academy family, as it completely violates our Navy’s core values, and does not support the U.S. Naval Academy mission,” Latta said in the statement.

All offers of appointment are conditional until incoming students take the oath of office, Cmdr. Alana Garas said in an email.

The student said he found out around 8 or 9 a.m. Monday about his offer being rescinded. Latta called him and gave him some suggestions about appealing the decision if the student decided to do so, the student said via direct message on Twitter. He said he did appeal and that was the final decision.

“I want people to know that I’ll be better than most of people even without the offer because I will adapt and overcome,” he said in the message.

He is currently working on planning his next move.

The student previously told The Capital that he was sorry for his statements and had apologized in the group chat. The student expressed concern that his appointment would be taken away.

“And now I understand that it’s not just edgy joke or comments,” he told The Capital in a direct message on Twitter. “And I will hold myself accountable so others (don’t) have to. So I’m here trying to save myself not just because I’m being exposed, it’s because I actually see the mistake I have made. I just want you all to have faith in me and trust me that I will change for the better in the future.”

The Naval Academy has also opened an investigation into Midshipman 1st Class Chase Standage after a Twitter account linked to Standage sent racist tweets, including saying police should shoot protesters to end Black Lives Matter protests and that Taylor “received justice” when police shot her while she slept.

The account has since been deleted. As it is an ongoing investigation, neither the academy nor Standage can comment, they said. There are no updates on the investigation, Garas said.


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