Transgender girl wins access to girl's bathroom at school

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Colorado Civil Rights Division ha ruled in favor of 6-year-old Coy Mathis, a transgender child barred from using the girl's bathroom at her elementary school.

GLAAD said this is the first ruling in the nation holding that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms that match who they are, and the most comprehensive ruling ever supporting the rights of transgender people to access bathrooms without harassment or discrimination.

"Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her," said Kathryn Mathis, Coy's mother. "All we ever wanted was for Coy's school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally."

"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," said Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund executive director Michael Silverman. "It is a victory for Coy and a triumph for fairness."

"The impact of this ruling should not be limited to Colorado," said GLAAD representative Wilson Cruz. "No child, no matter where they live, should have their identity denied by their school. And no family in America should have to go to court to convince educators to treat their child with respect."

The state civil rights division wrote that Coy's school had treated her in a manner that was "hostile, intimidating" and "offensive." 

Coy was labeled male at birth, but has always known she is a girl, which she has expressed since she was 18 months old. Coy's classmates and teachers use female pronouns to refer to her and she had used the girls' bathrooms, just like any other girl in her school.

In mid-December 2012, the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 informed Coy's parents that Coy would be prevented from using the girls' bathrooms after winter break. The district ordered Coy to use the boys' bathroom, a staff bathroom or the nurse's bathroom.  

Coy's parents tried to convince the district to change the ruling and then removed her from school and filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.    

In addition to TLDEF, the legal team representing the Mathis family included Michael Flynn, Lucy Deakins, Jami Mills Vibbert, and Rosario Doriott Dominguez of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.


0 1 David Rodriguez 2013-06-25 04:33
Great vistory for little Coy!!! As parent of a transgender adult, I clearly understand the meaning of this victory. There are so many other areas which still need attention such as the issue of health coverage, etc. However, this a is a great step in the right direction! Congretulations !!!
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