Know Your Rights

The Equal Opportunity Compliance Office is responsible for overseeing Federal Title IX at ACC and informing students and employees of their rights under this law. The District Title IX Coordinator and the Equal Opportunity Investigators communicate with students and employees on matters related to discrimination and harassment. In addition to supporting a variety of concerns regarding discrimination and harassment, outreach assists individuals who have been affected by the following concerns.


ACC determines if Stalking is present according to the Clery Act definition. Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Examples of Stalking: Someone goes out of their way to drive around their ex partner’s home campus; Someone was blocked from sending text messages and they are now asking friends to deliver messages;

Impact of Stalking: Those affected by stalking may attempt several strategies to remove themselves from the situation. Someone may begin changing their normal route and park in a different spot; Someone can change their phone number and delete their social media accounts; Someone may begin carrying a firearm or self-defense spray everywhere they go.

Interim and Supportive Measures: ACC can issue a variety of safety measures depending on the situation and comfort of the victim. The EOC can help coordinate escorts by the ACC District Police while on campus; A mutual no-contact order can be facilitated between both parties; The EOC can provide enrollment verification to determine if a particular individual is enrolled; A change in class or work location or schedule can be facilitated; or students can be provided with alternative course completions.

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) can include both dating and domestic violence and can sometimes be referred to as interpersonal violence. Regardless of where the interpersonal violence is taking place, either on or off campus, ACC recognizes the hardship that it may cause on students.

Examples of IPV: actual or threats of physical, verbal or emotional abuse to include pushing, punching, scratching, breaking personal property, gaslighting, continuously putting someone down, etc.

Impact of IPV: There are many forms of IPV and those affected may display signs of abuse, while others endure this type of abuse for an extended period of time, without showing any outward signs. Some signs of IPV include having physical injuries, taking more time off school or work than usual, becoming less confident or becoming withdrawn when their partner is around, physical appearance suddenly changes, etc.

Interim and Supportive Measures: ACC can issue a variety of safety measures depending on the situation and comfort of the victim. Individuals may need time to attend counseling or legal appointments, the EOC can coordinate a change of location, escorts by ACC Police while on campus, or removal of name from public facing directories. The most common support needed in cases of IPV include resource referrals to college and community resources. The EOC will inform victims of resources related to counseling, legal services, housing, food, etc.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault exists in different forms. This can include sexual acts, touching or behaviors that are without consent. It is important to note that consent cannot be given if the person is being forced, coerced, threatened, is unconscious or incapacitated. The legal age of consent in Texas is 17 years of age. To learn more about sexual assault or to review the full definition, review the Notice of Victim Rights & Options.

Examples of Sexual Assault: actualized or attempted rape, fondling or unwanted sexual touching, or sexual acts done by force.

Impact of Sexual Assault: While sexual assault can present in various ways, one constant is that it is never the victim’s fault. Many individuals who have been affected by sexual assault experience physical and mental impacts such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal thoughts.

Interim and Supportive Measures: ACC can issue a variety of safety measures depending on the situation and comfort of the victim. Medical recovery time for victims depends on the nature of the physical assault. Victims may need time off to get a forensic examination or seek additional medical treatment. Individuals may need time to attend medical or counseling appointments, be escorted by ACC Police while on campus, or removal of name from public facing directories. If the victim and alleged are both students, a mutual no-contact order can be placed. The EOC can provide a variety of measures intended to keep individuals at the college, support so grades do not suffer, and maintain participation in school activities.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Title IX prohibits K-12 schools and institutions of higher education from discriminating or excluding any student from their educational program or activity. Title IX regulations include protection from discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom. Additionally, these conditions must be treated the same as any other temporary disability with respect to any hospital or medical benefit, service, plan, or policy for students.

Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination: It would be a violation of Title IX to not allow a student to miss class for a pregnancy-related medical appointment or care for as long as a doctor prescribes, or to not offer opportunities to make up missed work, including opportunities to earn class participation points. Title IX protection extends beyond the classroom to include excluding students from extracurricular activities, leadership positions, or services and facilities available to other students. Other examples include creating obstacles or forcing students into a separate program or facility or encouraging students to withdraw from classes.

Impact of Pregnancy Discrimination: Consequences of discriminatory practices can lead to a pregnant or parenting student to drop out of school, delaying their intended graduation date, or lowering their grade point average. The impact on a student having to navigate complex approval processes or concern about not being able to complete their academic program could lead to added emotional and/or physical stress. Participation in a separate program or facility must be completely voluntary and it must offer the same opportunities to those offered to students who are not pregnant or parenting.

Interim and Supportive Measures: The EOC can facilitate conversations with faculty and staff to ensure compliance with federal protections. These conversations include clarifying excused absences or the obligation to provide certain academic adjustments that are reasonable and responsive to a student’s pregnancy status. Most academic adjustments can be done with minimal efforts or resources.

Bias-Related Incidents

Bias motivated discrimination and harassment is prohibited under various federal laws, which guide ACC’s Administrative Rules and Guidelines/Procedures. A bias motivated, or bias related, incident is verbal, written, or physical behavior or action directly against or targeted towards an individual or group based on perceived or actual protected characteristics. In the education setting, protected characteristics include disability, race, color, national origin, age, and sex/gender. These protected characteristics exist in the workforce along with religion, age (40+ years), veteran status, and genetic information.

Examples of Bias: Incidents include jokes or insults using racial, ethnic, or other slur; Commenting online or through social media related to someone’s identity; Defacing or vandalizing, threatening, destructing personal property, or harassing; Hate messages, symbols, or images; Belittling someone’s language, accent or traditions; Using stereotypes when talking about someone.

Impact of Bias Related Incidents: Discrimination or harassment on the basis of protected characteristics can impact an individual’s mental and physical well-being to include sleep disturbance, depression, fear, distrust, isolation, sense of security, etc. Oftentimes, affected individuals hold off reporting for fear of retaliation. It is important to emphasize that retaliation in any form is prohibited and the sooner that an incident is reported, the quicker the EOC can address the matter.

Interim and Supportive Measures: ACC can issue a variety of safety measures depending on the situation and comfort of the victim. A mutual no-contact order can be facilitated between parties who are students or employees at the college. A change in class or work location or schedule can be facilitated or students can be provided with alternative course completions. Referrals to campus and community resources will be provided.

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