Sex abuse, bullying probe roils US Merchant Marine Academy

KINGS POINT, N.Y. (AP) — The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is in turmoil over sexual abuse and bullying concerns that have led to the temporary shutdown of its premier training program — one that sends cadets out on working vessels for a year at sea.

Some parents, alumni and maritime unions contend the decision to halt the program while such allegations are investigated was made hastily and without solid evidence of abuse. And they say it deprives cadets of the most valuable part of their education, actually toiling on container ships, tankers, passenger liners and barges.

But administrators of the 900-student, taxpayer-financed service academy on New York’s Long Island aren’t shrinking from the criticism. They say a full review is underway, and it could be months before the program called Sea Year resumes.

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