February 10, 2007

Air Force Academy Hit By Cheating Scandal

The U.S. Air Force Academy, hit by a cheating scandal and other bad behavior, has asked its cadets to spend the weekend in self-examination.

The school's 4,300 cadets were restricted to campus, the Washington Post said. They were asked to spend the weekend in small-group discussions of their self-image and the image of the institution.

In addition to allegations of cheating by 28 freshmen, Internet privileges were stripped from 43 students in January because they had downloaded pornography or visited pornographic Web sites. Johnny Whitaker, a spokesman for the academy, said this year's freshman class has the lowest grade-point average in two decades, with 19 percent failing at the end of the fall semester.

Lt. Gen. John Regni, the superintendent, said in a speech to cadets he wanted them to kind of look in the mirror, Whitaker said.

He told them he was disappointed with them, that honor is the heart of what we do, he added.