US: Family of trans girl lodge complaint because school denied her use of girls’ toilets
The parents of a trans girl in Colorado have filed a complaint because their daughter’s elementary school refused to allow her to use the girls’ toilets.
The family of Coy Mathis, of Fountain, south of Denver, learned she had gender dysphoria when she was 18 months old, and after she was diagnosed, her family allowed her to begin living as female.
Prior to that Coy who is a triplet, had become depressed and withdrawn, and had become upset when asked to wear boys’ clothes. Her parents said it was clear that she wanted to be identified as a girl.
Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis have now lodged a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division against the Fountain-Fort Carson School District because the school she was attending ceased to let her use the girls’ toilets.
Initially accepting, the district had allowed the Mathis family to register Coy as a female student, at Eagleside Elementary School and had allowed her to use the girls toilets until December 2012, when they said she would have to start using the boys’ toilets, or the nurses toilet.
Her parents then began homeschooling Coy, for fear that her being made to use separate bathrooms would cause her to be bullied.
On Tuesday, the family official lodged the complaint on behalf of Coy, and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) pointed out that the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act already prohibits this kind of treatment against transgender students in public schools.
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TLDEF went on to say that the law specifically covers bathroom rights and that it states that trans students should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.
Kathryn Mathis released a statement which said: “We have five children and we love them all very much,
“We want Coy to return to school to be with her teachers, her friends, and her siblings, but we are afraid to send her back until we know that the school is going to treat her fairly. She is still just six years old, and we do not want one of our daughter’s earliest experiences to be our community telling her she’s not good enough.”
The school district’s lawyer, W Kelly Dude, responded with a statement.
It read: “The district firmly believes it has acted reasonably and fairly with respect to this issue. However, the district believes the appropriate and proper forum for discussing the issues identified in the charge is through the Division of Civil Rights process. The district is preparing a response to the charge which it will submit to the division. Therefore, the district will not comment further on this matter out of respect for the process which the parents have initiated.”