BREAKING NEWS : Coroner: Two teens shot to death inside Cumberland Ave garage Full Story

Female recruits allege discrimination at FBI academy

More than a dozen women who attended the FBI's training academy...

Posted: May 30, 2019 2:19 PM

More than a dozen women who attended the FBI's training academy are suing the law enforcement agency for what they say was a hostile work environment and sexual harassment, according to a new lawsuit.

The suit, based on accounts from current and former FBI employees, alleges that women at the FBI's Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia, faced disadvantages and harsher scrutiny as a result of a "good old boy network" at the facility.

Some women also said they were sexually harassed, including through propositions for sex and repeated "inappropriate" text messages.

"Female trainees are subjected to a hostile work environment, pervasive sexual harassment and sexual jokes made by numerous members of Training Division instructors, managers and field counselors, including harassment about pregnancy, false allegations of infidelity, use of birth control, physical appearance, manner of dress, parental status, and refusal to train certain skills because of a female trainee's breast size," the suit says.

"Through passive tolerance, the FBI has intentionally allowed the Good Old Boy Network to flourish unrestrained at the FBI Academy," the suit says.

The training center at Quantico, on a sprawling and wooded campus outside of Washington, DC, holds a storied place at the FBI.

Most new recruits pass through the facility for a 20-week training that includes classroom instruction on counterterrorism investigations and interrogation techniques, as well as tactical scenarios in a small-town mock-up.

For D.A., a staff operations specialist in the FBI's Counterterrorism Division who appears as a plaintiff in the suit identified by her initials, the academy was also a place of embarrassment and targeted criticism.

In one exercise, D.A. was told to be more "aggressive" with her shooting, although she had successfully completed the exercise. In another incident, an instructor questioned D.A.'s recollection of an exercise, telling her that she was "overwhelmed" and "probably didn't remember it correctly," the suit says.

Clare Coetzer, a licensed social worker who attended the training academy in 2018, was dismissed three weeks before graduation and says in the lawsuit that she was given fewer opportunities to succeed than her male counterparts.

After receiving four demerits, Coetzer met with a tactical instructor to ask for feedback on how to improve.

"Ms. Coetzer was told there was nothing she could do to improve. During this same meeting, Ms. Coetzer and her class counselor were both present when the [instructor] told a male classmate with four (4) [demerits] that he would 'be fine' and 'to keep working hard, and not worry about it,' the suit says.

"Only minutes after, the same instructor told Ms. Coetzer that her four (4) [demerits] were 'a lot' and that 'people don't typically graduate with four (4) [demerits],'" the suit says.

In a statement, the FBI said they could not comment on pending litigation but that they are "committed to fostering a work environment where all of our employees are valued and respected."

"Diversity is one of our core values, and to effectively accomplish our mission of protecting the American people we need people of different genders, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives," the FBI said.

Women made up 36% of all special agent applications so far this fiscal year -- up from 26% the year before, according to FBI statistics.

Thirty-two percent of the class at the main special agent training course in Quantico this year are women, the FBI said.

In the suit, which was filed in Washington, DC, federal court, the women ask a judge to reinstate the plaintiffs into the training academy, and seek damages for emotional distress.

The women also ask the court to order the FBI to conduct a study of the FBI's training evaluation process and require all instructors at the center to undergo sensitivity training.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1731003

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1803711843
Cuyahoga1698662655
Hamilton1144371544
Montgomery810251405
Summit726231210
Lucas636141027
Butler57225814
Stark543091183
Lorain42754645
Warren36183417
Mahoning36035788
Lake32696501
Clermont31523369
Trumbull27614620
Delaware27394185
Licking26829344
Medina26290353
Fairfield24812287
Greene24540373
Clark22327390
Portage21504283
Richland21257342
Wood20300248
Allen19119326
Miami17456352
Columbiana17014335
Muskingum16873207
Wayne15873307
Tuscarawas14579362
Marion13440196
Ashtabula12927237
Erie12790199
Scioto12556188
Pickaway12308155
Ross11780226
Hancock11623175
Geauga11042179
Lawrence10698172
Belmont10509234
Huron9867159
Jefferson9687228
Union963775
Sandusky9428166
Seneca8993161
Knox8869176
Washington8714159
Darke8435181
Athens841897
Ashland8102152
Auglaize8018120
Shelby7551135
Defiance7418117
Crawford7356150
Fulton7262113
Brown7217116
Logan7061111
Guernsey700586
Mercer6959100
Highland6807120
Clinton6547106
Williams653899
Madison652590
Preble6334140
Putnam6288122
Champaign585187
Jackson584597
Perry570579
Ottawa5689102
Coshocton5688108
Morrow521765
Fayette497272
Hardin4947100
Gallia474278
Van Wert469395
Pike467678
Adams4619110
Henry439280
Hocking412493
Holmes4035141
Wyandot379275
Carroll371178
Paulding326351
Meigs307561
Monroe236861
Noble221549
Morgan219039
Harrison215253
Vinton189138
Unassigned06
Fort Wayne
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 8°
Angola
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 12°
Huntington
Clear
18° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 9°
Decatur
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 8°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 8°
Colder air continues to filter into the region, and we will experience the coldest day since February 2021.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events