KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a longtime faculty member at Metropolitan Community College, Daniel Wright believes a new school non-fraternization policy could have harmful effects on some employees.
“You’re really forcing people out of the closet in a very unnecessary way,” Wright told FOX4.
The new policy requires college employees to disclose romantic, sexual or dating relationships with students to school administrators.
Protecting students from relationships with an imbalance in power is admirable, Wright conceded. But with more than 15,000 students spread out over five campuses, Wright argued it has a chilling effect on members of the LGBTQ community.
“So much so that anybody that basically steps foot on campus, if you were an employee at Hy-Vee who is a vendor, if you do one of the programs through Honeywell, it makes all of those people responsible for reporting any relationship they may have in the greater Kansas City area with any student,” Wright said.
Wright and other teachers said forcing faculty to report personal information to superiors can be traumatic.
“I know people in their 50s who are still not out,” Wright said. “Sometimes you’re out in your personal relationships but not with your family; sometimes with your family but not at work.”
Cindy Cerrentano is another MCC instructor who strongly believes the policy goes too far.
“The reality is that this policy has no bearing on how good of a teacher I am or how good of an employee I am,” Cerrentano said. “Unless it’s a student in one of my classes or I’m an employee and it’s my supervisee, it really has no bearing on how capable or how good I am at my job.”
In statement to FOX4, the MCC Board of Trustees stood behind the non-fraternization policy.
“In its March meeting, the MCC Board passed a long overdue non-fraternization policy. This policy is designed to ensure that MCC provides a safe learning environment where all students are treated fairly.”