Coy Mathis, 6, has won a civil rights care allowing her to use the girl’s restroom at her school in Fountain, Colorado. The school had banned her from doing so, triggering the lawsuit.
Coy was born a boy but has identified with girl’s clothing and toys since she was 18 months old, eventually refusing to leave the house dressed as a boy. Her passport and state-issued ID show her as female and she has the full support of her friends and family. After consulting with doctors, Coy’s parents informed the school, Eagleside Elementary, that she would be attending as a girl, a decision that her teachers and school staff supported.
In December of 2012 the family received a call from the school informing them that Coy would no longer be able to use girl’s restrooms. She would be allowed to use the boy’s bathrooms, the nurse’s restroom, or gender-neutral restrooms.
Additionally, the family received a letter from the attorney representing the Fountain-Fort Carlson school district that read, in part:
“…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.”
Cody’s parents, Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis filed a complaint in February 2013 against the school district with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. In addition to the complaint, they pulled Coy and her siblings out of school and home-schooled them whilst the complaint was pending, stating that they would not return to school until Coy was once again allowed to use the girl’s restroom.
The Mathis’s complaint was handled by New York based non-profit organisation, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund.
Sunday of this year the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled in the Mathis’s favour. Steven Chavez, division director, wrote in the decision that by not allowing Coy to use the girl’s restroom, Eagle Elementary “creates an environment rife with harassment.”
After the ruling Coy’s mother, Kathryn stated:
“Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her. All we ever wanted was for Coy’s school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she will now be treated equally.”
Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund had this to say:
“This ruling sends a loud and clear message that transgender students may not be targeted for discrimination and that they must be treated equally in school. It is a victory for Coy and a triumph for fairness.”
The TLDEF states that this is the first ruling in the nation that allows transgender students to use the bathroom that they identify with.