Transgender first-grader wins civil rights suit after girls’ bathroom ban
The Colorado Civil Rights Division has decided in favor of the transgender first-grader who had been prohibited from using the girls’ bathroom at a public elementary school.
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which filed the complaint on behalf of the first-grader’s family, announced the ruling on Sunday, reports Denver FOX affiliate KDVR.
The student, Coy Mathis, was born biologically male but wears girls’ clothes all the time. The six-year-old had also been using the girls’ bathroom at Eagleside Elementary in Fountain, Colorado near Colorado Springs.
In December, the school banned Coy from using the girls’ bathroom. The new policy was for Coy to use either the boys’ bathroom, a teacher’s lounge bathroom or the nurse’s bathroom. (RELATED: School district bans transgender first-grader from using girls’ bathroom)
At the time, the Mathis family responded by taking Coy out of school
The ruling by the state’s civil rights division, which enforces anti-discrimination laws, decreed that Mathis was a victim of illegal discrimination.
Division director Steven Chavez pronounced that a policy directing Coy to “disregard her identity while performing one of the most essential human functions constitutes severe and pervasive treatment, and creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive,” according to The New York Times.
The decision mentioned the latest research on transgender issues, adds KDVR. “Compartmentalizing a child as a boy or a girl solely based on their visible anatomy,” Chavez wrote, “is a simplistic approach to a difficult and complex issue.”
The ruling observed that the child’s birth certificate indicates that Coy was born male. However, more recent medical and legal documentation indicates that the first-grader is female.
It’s not clear which metrics for gender the creators of any of these documents used.
“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 obtained by KDVR. “All we ever wanted was for Coy’s school to treat her the same as other little girls.”
At a previous press conference when the complaint was announced, Coy’s mother had told reporters that her child began to identify as a girl “as soon as she could express herself,” according to local NBC affiliate KOAA. She described Coy as restless and generally miserable before the parents decided to permit the transgender child to dress like a girl and act like a girl.
School officials had expressed concern about what might happen to the child later on — in middle school and high school — when students generally start to notice things like gender and sexuality.
Coy Mathis is a triplet (along with a brother, Max, and a sister, Lilly). There are two other siblings as well, one older and one younger.
The Mathis family has relocated to the Denver area and now intends to enroll Coy in an area school.