A leading transgender rights group on
Tuesday announced that it had filed a discrimination complaint in
Colorado on behalf of Coy Mathis, a six-year-old transgender girl who
has been barred from using the girls' bathroom at her elementary
The Transgender Legal Defense &
Education Fund (TLDEF) filed the complaint with the Colorado Civil
Rights Division after Coy's parents, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis, were
told in mid-December by the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8
that Coy could no longer use the girls' bathrooms that she had been
using for the past year at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain,
where she is a first-grader.
Coy's parent's have removed her from
the school until the situation is resolved.
“We want Coy to have the same
educational opportunities as every other Colorado student,” Kathryn
Mathis said. “Her school should not be singling her out for
mistreatment just because she is transgender.”
Jeremy Mathis said he feared sending
his daughter back to school.
“We have five children and we love
them all very much,” he said. “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.”
Michael Silverman, executive director
of TLDEF, added: “By forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than
all the other girls, Coy's school is targeting her for stigma,
bullying and harassment. Through the Colorado Anti-Discrimination
Act, Coloradans have made it clear that they want all Colorado
children to have a fair and equal chance in school.”
“Coy's school has the opportunity to
turn this around and teach Coy's classmates a valuable lesson about
friendship, respect and basic fairness,” he said.
The lawsuit was announced after the
Mathis' appeared on Katie Couric's daytime talk show, Katie.