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Title IX for Transgender Students

Title IX and Transgender Students

Information on this page is from Transequality.org and email correspondence from the Office of Student Conduct Director Michael Crowe and was confirmed by Michael Crowe on 04/24/2017.


What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”


What does Title IX ensure?
According to Michael Crowe, Director of the Office of Student Conduct on Feb. 23, 2017:

“[Students] have the right to participate in all areas and activities of the university, free from any form of discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.

The Office of Student Conduct has a responsibility to insure that no student organization, constitution or other organizational document includes discriminatory clauses pertaining to race, creed, religion, color, sex, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.”


Does Title IX protect transgender students?
According to Michael Crowe, Director of the Office of Student Conduct on Feb. 23, 2017:

“The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidelines clarifying the federal government's position regarding Title IX and transgender students and we will continue to move forward as we have. Through these guidelines, the Department asserts that Title IX's prohibition against sex-based discrimination extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity. In other words, the Department's position is that Title IX applies to transgender students and protects them from sex-based discrimination.

“Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation.

Similarly, the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of the parties does not change a school’s obligations.

WKU will investigate and resolve allegations of sexual violence regarding LGBT students using the same procedures and standards that it uses in all complaints involving sexual violence.

All protections are equal across as it related to Title IX and to all students.”


What rights do transgender students have under Title IX?
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality:

  • You have the right to be treated according to the gender you identify with. Your school cannot require you to provide legal or medical evidence in order to have your gender respected.
  • You have the right to be called by the name and pronouns consistent with your gender identity.
  • You have the right not to be bullied or harassed because you are transgender or gender non-conforming. If school administrators become aware of bullying or harassment they must take action to end it.
  • You have the right to equal educational opportunities regardless of your gender, including your gender identity or expression, or your race, nationality, or disability. This includes not being punished or excluded from school activities or events because you are transgender or gender non-conforming.
  • You have the right to dress and present yourself in a way that is consistent with your gender identity, so long as you follow rules for how to dress that apply to all students. This includes how you dress at school every day as well as for dances, graduation, and other school events.
  • You have the right to use restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities that are consistent with your gender identity, and can’t be forced to use separate facilities.
  • You have the right to privacy concerning your transgender status and gender transition. Any such information kept in school records must be kept private and not shared without your permission unless the school has a legitimate reason that it not based on gender bias.
  • You have the right not to be harassed or discriminated against based gender stereotypes, including stereotypes about sexual orientation.
  • You have the right to join or start queer-centric groups, and to have your group treated like other student groups.

What is a ombudsperson?

According to WKU Academic Affairs, regarding WKU Student Ombuds Officers:

This position, the responsibilities of which may be shared amongst multiple individuals, is appointed by the Provost and serves as an information source and point of communication for students who believe they may have a personal grievance regarding an alleged violation, misinterpretation or improper application of University policies and procedures, or alleged improper treatment.

Serving as a designated neutral, the Ombuds Officer is neither an advocate for any individual nor for the University; rather, the Ombuds Officer is available to offer an objective perspective on the issues/matters of concern.

Students are free to utilize or not to utilize the Ombuds Officer in addressing any issues or concerns. The Ombuds Officer is independent from existing administrative structures and for the purpose of these duties shall have direct communication as needed with the Provost.”


According to the position description for the WKU Ombuds Officer for staff:

“Position serves as an available information source and point of communication for faculty and staff who believe they may have a personal grievance regarding an alleged violation, misinterpretation or improper application of University policies and procedures, or alleged improper treatment. Serving as a designated neutral, the Ombuds Officer is not an advocate for any individual or the University; rather, the Ombuds Officer is available to offer an objective perspective on the issues/matters of concern.

Faculty and staff are free to utilize or not to utilize the Ombuds Officer in resolving any issues or concerns. The Ombuds Officer is independent from existing administrative structures and for the purpose of these duties shall have direct communication as needed with the President.”


Who are the ombudspeople at WKU?

For students:

Dr. Brian Meredith
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
(270) 745-6169
student.ombudsman@wku.edu

Dr. Sylvia Gaiko
Associate Vice President for Planning and Program Development
(270) 745-6169
student.ombudsman@wku.edu


For faculty/staff:

Dr. Karl Laves
Associate Director, Counseling & Testing Center
745-3159 (8am - 4:30pm M-F)
781-5065 (after hours)
karl.laves@wku.edu

 




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 Last Modified 6/1/17