CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Following their first formal, written statement today responding to claims of discrimination and harassment on their campus, Central Piedmont Community College has clarified and updated its statement. The college says its policies and procedures are in full compliance with the law.
A transgender student has claimed campus security officers harassed and detained her. Additionally, the student and her attorney say that campus officials worked to prevent her from filing a complaint regarding the incident. One official, Williams alleges, told her she had “no legal rights.”
CPCC’s statement on Thursday had noted it was investigating the incident and hopes to reach an “amicable resolution” with the student.
In the first version of the statement, the college also said it would review its policies and procedures to ensure they were in compliance with all laws.
But, now, mere hours later, the college has apparently finished their review.
“The College has examined its policies and procedures, and we are certain that they are in compliance with current laws. The College will work to ensure those policies are followed and clearly communicated,” CPCC Public Information Officer Jeff Lowrance said in the updated statement.
The transgender student’s attorney, Sarah Demarest, has argued that her client’s due process rights were violated when she was not initially allowed to file a complaint and pressured against doing so. Additionally, the harassment of the student as she used a restroom on campus, Demarest said, violates Title IX, a federal law that bans gender-based discrimination.
Federal courts and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights have held that discrimination based on gender-stereotyping — including that which may be directed toward transgender people — is illegal under Title IX.
Lowrance said the college’s review today does not necessarily preclude the possibility that the college might add sexual orientation and gender identity to its basic non-discrimination policy, which currently does not protect LGBT students or faculty.
“As we have dialogue in the coming weeks with local, state and LGBT leaders, we will assess policies,” Lowrance said.