Published on February 28th, 2013 | by Daniel Perlman0
Complaint filed in case of 6-year-old transgender girl
Six-year-old Coy Mathis, a transgender girl, is being home schooled this semester because she has been denied access to the girls’ bathroom at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, her parents say.
New York-based Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund attorneys said they filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division on behalf of her parents Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, saying Coy has been discriminated against.
Forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than the girls, “is targeting her for bullying and harassment,” said Michael Silverman, TLDE attorney and executive director. He said that Colorado law prevents schools from discriminating against transgender students.
Coy was identified as a male at birth, but since age 18 months has insisted she is a girl, and has attended school as a girl since December, 2011. Her teachers referred to her as a girl, and she dressed like one and used the girls’ bathroom, her mother says.
But in December, administrators said Coy could no longer use the girls’ bathrooms, but can use the boys’ bathroom, a staff bathroom, or the nurse’s bathroom, Mathis said.
The transgender defense fund provided a letter it said was from the school district that said, “The district’s decision 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.”
“At 18 months of age Coy gravitated to girl things and very much disliked boy things,” Mathis said.
When she was two and a half, Coy was anxious if she left the house dressed as a boy. She wanted princess dresses and hair bows.
At age four, she asked them to take her to a doctor “to fix her body.”
When she started kindergarten, Coy wasn’t excited, and wanted her polo shirts to be pink. That was fine for a while, but when she insisted she was a girl, a classmate kept telling her she was a boy. She cried when she couldn’t be in the girl’s line at school.
They consulted a psychologist, doctor and other parents of transgender children and support groups.
They met with the principal, teacher and school psychologist. “They told us they would help make it a safe environment for Coy. She blossomed and her grades went up.”
Some kids had questions, but the teacher merely responded that she was a girl.
But then in December, Mathis got a call from the principal saying Coy could no longer use the girls’ bathroom.
“They seem to think that gender and sexuality are the same,” Mathis said.
They decided to home school her because using different facilities would be stigmatizing.
Through a lawyer, they tried to come to some agreement, but the school would not budge, so they contacted the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Mathis says of Coy, “No one wants a hard path for their child. We will always accept her for who she is. But it is difficult knowing the obstacles she will face. Parents want kids to be happy.”
Source: The Gazette Colorado Springs “Complaint filed in case of 6-year-old transgender girl,” February 27, 2013.