Office of Civil Rights Information

MCC complies with applicable federal and state laws and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) guidance of the May 13, 2016 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), which addresses the non-discrimination of transgender students that includes but is not limited to the following:

Title IX consideration
The OCR considers a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.

Gender Identity Based Harassment
Asserts that harassment based on gender identity, transgender status, or gender transition is a form of sexual harassment. An educational entity’s failure to address such harassment may create a hostile environment which would result in a violation of Title IX.

Gender Identity Recognition
The OCR requires that educational institutions treat students consistent with their gender identity when they or their parent(s) or guardian(s) notify the college that they will assert a gender identity different from the previous representation or records.

Directory Information
FERPA regulations permit the disclosure of appropriately designated directory information from a student’s education record. Directory information may include a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. According to the guidance, College officials may not designate students’ sex, including transgender status, as directory information because doing so could be harmful or an invasion of privacy.

Student Medical Information
Expects that educational institutions may not require a medical diagnosis or treatment as a condition for treating a student in conformity with his or her gender identity, and that requiring such documentation may violate Title IX if it has the effect of limiting the student’s equal access to an educational program or activity. Notification by the student or the student’s parent or guardian, suffices, by itself, to trigger duties of the school.

Student Privacy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits disclosure of personally identifiable information from educational records to individual school personnel who are determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the information. However, the Dear Colleague Letter cautions that even if a student has disclosed his or her transgender status to some members of the school community, schools are not necessarily authorized to disclose that information to other school personnel. Inappropriate disclosure, or requiring the student or the parent to disclose, personally identifiable information to the school community or to individuals who do not have a legitimate educational interest in that information may violate both FERPA and the student’s rights under Title IX.

Amendments to Educational Records
The OCR takes the position that updating a transgender student’s records to reflect the gender identity and name change will help protect the privacy of the student and ensure that school personnel use the appropriate name and pronoun preferred by the student. OCR directs that under Title IX, the College must respond to a request to amend information in an education record related to a student’s transgender status in conformity with its general practices for amending other students’ records.

Pronouns
Every student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.  To this end, a court-ordered name or gender change is not required, and the student need not change his or her official records. It is strongly recommended that the transgender or gender nonconforming students be privately asked at the beginning of the school year how they want to be addressed in class, and other departments around the College.

Restrooms
Institutions may provide separate restroom facilities on the basis of sex under Title IX regulations, but it may not require a transgender student to use facilities that are inconsistent with his or her gender identity, or to use individual-user facilities if other students are not required to do so. An institution may, however, make an individual-user option available to all students who wish to use it.  At MCC, a family restroom is located in Building A, 101.

Overnight Accommodations and Housing
Institutions must allow a transgender student access to housing or overnight accommodations consistent with his or her gender identity, and may not require the transgender student to stay in a single-occupancy accommodation. Institutions may not require a transgender student to disclose personal information which it does not require other students to provide.

Individuals who believe they have experienced harassment or discrimination prohibited by the statements above are encouraged to contact the appropriate offices. Students should contact the Office of Student Conduct, Room A252, at (815) 455-8636. Employees should contact Lisa Brncich, Title IX Coordinator at (815) 455-8696.