Lifestyle & Belief

Coy Mathis, transgender 1st grader, banned from using girls’ bathroom


A traffic sign depicting children is pictured at the Benedictine-run Ettal Monastery is pictured in Ettal, Germany. Munich prosecutors opened an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by priests made by 20 alumni of the Benedictine-run Ettal Monastery school in Bavaria, while a lawyer involved in the case charged that hundreds of boys had been beaten, many of them severely, by staff at the school decades ago.


Miguel Villagran

The parents of a first-grader who was born a boy but identifies as a girl have filed a discrimination complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division after the Fountain-Fort Carson School District banned the child from using the girls’ bathroom at school, CNN reported.

Officials at Eagleside Elementary in Fountain, Colo., 82 miles south of Denver, said that 6-year-old Coy Mathis could use the bathroom in the teachers' lounge or in the nurse's office instead, the Associated Press reported.

"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," school officials wrote in a letter to the Mathis family, according to the AP.

The lawyer for Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, Wm. Kelly Dude, said the district is not in violation of the state Anti-Discrimination Act because the child also has access to single-user or gender-neutral restrooms, the Denver Post reported. "Coy attends class as all other students, is permitted to wear girls' clothes and is referred to as the parents have requested," he said, according to the Denver Post.

Coy’s parents, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis, disagree.

"This automatically singles her out and stigmatizes her," Kathryn Mathis told the Denver Post. "It sets her up for future harassing and bullying, and creates an unsafe environment. The school has a wonderful opportunity to teach students that differences are OK, and we should embrace their differences, instead of teaching them to discriminate against someone who is a little different."

"For many transgender people, discrimination is a daily part of life,” Attorney Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is representing Coy, said, according to CNN. “Unfortunately for Coy, it has started very early.” He said that the complaint is a "test of Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act."

Coy is being homeschooled until the complaint is resolved, the AP reported.