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Interim report on racism at VMI released

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 4:44 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The third party law firm brought in by the state to investigate racial relations at the Virginia Military Institute has issued an interim report.

The one-hundred page report from Barnes & Thornburg law firm said interviews with current and former cadets revealed racial slurs were “a common experience” in both the past and present, and described delays in the work caused by VMI.

The school said in a written statement, in part: “VMI is deeply troubled by the accounts detailed in the report. Reported allegations of racism and sexual improprieties are immediately investigated by the Institute. If found to be substantiated, action is taken. VMI will, of course, continue to foster a culture where all members of its community are treated with dignity and respect.”

Governor Ralph Northam, an alumnus of VMI, reacted to the report Tuesday.

”I think a lot of the findings, while they’re preliminary, are very disturbing,” he said. “And so the investigation needs to continue. It needs to continue unencumbered, and I urge the folks at VMI to cooperate.”

The investigation was triggered by a series of articles in the Washington Post describing racial tensions at the school.

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