The family of a six-year-old transgender child is taking legal action against her old elementary school after they wouldn’t allow her to use the girls’ bathroom.
Coy Mathis was born male but started expressing interest in being a girl at just 18 months. At the age of four, when her anxiety levels reached an all time high and she refused to leave the house without girl clothes, they decided to allow her to be who she wanted to be.
She attended Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colo. until the principal had a meeting with the family in December, informing them that Coy must use the boys’ bathroom, the gender neutral faculty bathroom or the nurse’s bathroom.
This comes after a year of her using the girls’ restroom without issue.
They went on the Katie show and explained that they were now pursuing legal action over the school’s decision to make her use a separate bathroom. They said they are setting her up for bullying and ridicule.
The Mathis’ removed her from the school, as well as their four other children, and are now homeschooling her.
Her passport and state-issued ID say she is female, and she has never experienced an issue before with using the girls’ restrooms.
“She would use the girl’s restrooms, she would be called a girl, she would go in the girl’s lines,” Kathryn Mathis, her mother, said.
“We got a call one evening, it was the principal and he said he wanted to set up a meeting with us to discuss options for Coy’s future use of the restroom,” Jeremy Mathis, her father, said.
“It came out that Coy was no longer going to be able to use the girl’s restroom and they were going to require her to be using the boy’s room or the staff bathroom or the bathroom for the sick children. We didn’t know why, we had no idea where this was coming from.”
They have since filed a complaint with the state’s civil rights division.
A lawyer for the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, W Kelly Dude, said that the school “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.”
“I’m certain you can appreciate that as Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom,” he said.
The family’s case is the first to challenge restrictions on transgendered people using restrooms under Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.
“It’s important for us to talk about this, because a lot of people have been so afraid to be their true selves for so long. We want to help create a society where it’s OK to be who you are,” Kathryn said.