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Transgender first-grader wins civil rights case

The Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of a transgender first-grader who was blocked from using the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school, the The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund announced Sunday.

Coy Mathis, 6, was the victim of discrimination when Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain refused to let her use the girl’s restroom, the ruling finds.

In issuing its decision, the state’s rights division said keeping the ban in place “creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive.”

“Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her,” Kathryn Mathis, Coy’s mother, said in a statement. “All we ever wanted was for Coy’s school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally.”

The Mathis family has since moved to Denver in order to attend to the medical needs of one of their other children, so Coy Mathis will now be attending a Denver school.

The first-grader has been home-schooled during the proceedings

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund said Sunday it would hold a press conference to discuss the matter on Monday.

For most of the past year, Coy has dressed as a girl.

Coy’s passport and state-issued identification recognize her as female.

Mathis said she got a call “out of the blue” from the school in December saying that Coy could use the boys’ bathroom, gender-neutral faculty bathrooms or the nurse’s bathroom, but not the girls’ facilities.

The district “took into account not only Coy, but other students in the building, their parents and the future impact a boy with male genitals using a girls’ bathroom would have as Coy grew older,” a letter the family’s attorney received in December said.

“However, I’m certain you can appreciate that, as Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom.”

Think the family had every right to sue? Should transgender children use the opposite sex restrooms? What do you think?

Answer Question

Asked by LostSoul88 at 12:31 PM on Jun. 24, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 40 (119,496 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • At first, I was kind of appalled. But then, it's not like he/she is whipping out his/her penis and scaring all the girls. There are stalls, I'm assuming?


    Answer by ABeaverhausen at 12:39 PM on Jun. 24, 2013

  • If there are doors on the stalls, which I'm not sure there are in all schools, then I would be okay with it. If there are no doors I would not want my daughter seeing another child with a penis in the girls bathroom. In first grade that's not a subject I want to have to address with my daughter.

    Answer by missanc at 12:51 PM on Jun. 24, 2013

  • i dont see any issue until Coy and the other kids have to start changing for gym. for now there are stalls, but in gym you usually change in the locker room. thats going to upset some parents. but by then im sure most of the girls will have grown accustomed to Coy and there will still be stalls Coy can change in (thats what i always did haha)

    honest question. will Coy be attracted to females b/c of the male genitalia or will the brain/hormones that make Coy identify as female have her liking males?

    Answer by okmanders at 12:52 PM on Jun. 24, 2013

  • Being transgender is not the same as sexual orientation. If Coy is mentally a female "though biologically male" then she will either be straight and like boys, be a lesbian and like girls or be bisexual. It's the same as any other person, it's just that though the body developed as male, the mind or brain developed as a female. It would be the same as a woman who is not trans, dressing as a man and trying to be comfortable being looked at as a male, treated like a male, and expected to act male, even for one day. It's hard to know that inside you are something different from what your body and family and society tells you you are supposed to be. Good for Coy and her parents for fighting the school district on this. She is a little girl, no matter what is between her legs.

    Answer by AnonNdrag at 1:46 PM on Jun. 24, 2013

  • If it can be kept discreet at that age by having doors on the stalls, which I think is appropriate anyway, and if the child is taught to be discreet and keep private things private, it should be okay. I wouldn't want to have to explain to my six-year-old why a little boy with a penis, dressed as a girl, was using the girls' bathroom at school. I don't think kids that age are ready to tackle such confusing subjects.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:16 PM on Jun. 24, 2013

  • I am glad she won!

    Answer by kmath at 5:38 PM on Jun. 24, 2013

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