Lt Gen Jay Silveria was quick to react in September to allegations of racism at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The controversy? A racial slur scrawled on a message board outside the dorm room of an African-American student at the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School. The story went viral last month after the academy’s superintendent gave a rousing speech about “the power of diversity.”


Silveria scolded 1,500 students and staff in a video posted online. The incident quickly went viral, drawing praise from former Vice-President Joe Biden and Senator John McCain.

That story, as it turns out, was a hoax. An investigation by the academy found that one of the African-American cadets who reported the message wrote it himself.

A U.S. Air Force official said the student left the school this week, but did not specify whether he withdrew or was expelled. The student’s name was not released.

An academy statement said, “We can confirm that one of the cadet candidates who was allegedly targeted by racist remarks written outside of their dorm room was actually responsible for the act. The individual admitted responsibility and this was validated by the investigation.”

Sources told The Colorado Springs Gazette that the student “committed the act in a bizarre bid to get out of trouble he faced at the school” for previous misconduct.

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