A transgender student is accusing a North Carolina community college of discrimination after she claims the school’s security harassed her after using the women’s restroom, WBTV 3 reports.
Andraya Williams says she was leaving the restroom at Central Piedmont Community College, in Charlotte, when a security guard approached her.
“As I was exiting, the female security guard was coming in and she stopped me and asked me could she see me my student ID,” says Williams. “And I told her yes and I asked her why. And she asked me was I male or female. And I told her female and she laughed.”
Williams claims the security guard called for back-up and the situation spiraled out of control from there. She says even though she showed other security officers her ID, Williams, who identifies as transgender and considers herself to be female, claims security escorted her off campus and told her not to return until further notice.
Watch Williams discuss the ordeal here:
Williams says the situation occurred because of how she looks.
“When it happened I was really upset,” she says. “I was confused and you know I was really embarrassed and humiliated because there was other students around and there were a lot of security guards that came for back-up like it was a violent situation.”
She spoke to a college dean after the incident, but that did not bring her much comfort.
“He told me my suspension was lifted and he asked me to bring medical documentation stating that I am a female,” she said. “He said that would be the only way he could protect me from the same situation happening again.”
CPCC provided this written statement to WBTV:
“Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) is an open-door, open-access institution of learning, and we are proud of its rich diversity. CPCC has a 50-year history of being fair, respectful and considerate of all students. The College does not tolerate harassment of any kind. College personnel have been investigating the incident in question for several days, and the goal is to reach an amicable resolution with the student in the near future.
School officials say “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. We intend to have on-going dialogue with local and state LGBT leaders, including the College’s own LGBT organization, as we continue to address this issue.”
Williams’ attorney, Sarah Demarest, said that the school’s Title IV Coordinator allegedly told the student that she couldn’t file a complaint because she didn’t have any rights as a transgender student. Demarest said she is considering filing a complaint with the Board of Education and is giving CPCC an opportunity to rectify the matter.