lavernecoxOn Thursday afternoon, transgender actress Laverne Cox, who plays a transgender character on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” released a statement supporting a local student who claims she experienced harassment and discrimination by a Charlotte college.

Transgender student Andraya Williams has been telling her story this week. Just as officials at Central Piedmont Community College release a formal, written statement today, Williams’ case has begun to attract attention from local, statewide and national organizations.

Cox’s statement is the latest national attention on the case.

You can read our latest story on the case here, and you can keep up with all future, recent and past updates here.

Cox’s full statement is published below:

“I had the privilege of meeting Andraya Williams back in February during a speaking engagement at UNC Charlotte. I found her to be a lovely young woman and remember being excited that she is pursuing higher education. I have heard far too many stories of trans folks experiencing harassment and bullying in school and not feeling safe enough to return. 78% of all trans and gender nonconforming students in grades k-12 experience harassment or bullying at school. I was deeply saddened to read news reports this week alleging Andraya had been harassed by security at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), where she is attending college. She allegedly was harassed by school security just for using the bathroom. This is the kind of systemic discrimination that often makes trans people feel unsafe just living our lives as well as pursuing our dreams. I applaud Andraya’s courage in speaking out against this kind of treatment not only for herself but for all women and trans people who experience discrimination all around this country and the world. Trans people, particularly trans people of color have little opportunity to improve the quality of our lives without being able to pursue the educations necessary for that improvement, safe from harassment and discrimination.”

This is a developing story. Click here to see all recent updates…

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.