Coy Mathis, transgender six-year-old, wins case over access to girls' bathroom
We've been following the story of Coy Mathis, a transgender six year old from Fountain who prompted a complaint over access to the girls' bathroom at her elementary school.
Big photos, videos below.
Now, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund has announced that the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled in Coy's favor.
Look below to get details and see the ruling, as well as our previous coverage.
As we've reported, Coy, a triplet who's one of five kids parented by Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, became a cause of the aforementioned Transgender Legal & Education Defense Fund after being her family was informed over winter break that she could no longer use the girl's restroom at Eagleside Elementary, where she attended first grade. Rather, she would be required to visit either the staff or nurse's office facilities when nature called. The Mathis family, joined by the TLEDF, subsequently filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division against the Fountain-Fort Carson School District #8, arguing that the new dictate "[singled] her out for mistreatment, and [taught] her classmates that it's okay to discriminate."
Coy, center, flanked by siblings Max and Dakota.
The story soon generated national publicity, with Coy and her loved ones appearing on CNN and Katie Couric's syndicated talk show, among other outlets. Additionally, a March article in the New York Times used the Mathis case as an example of what appears to be a national trend. The Times pointed out other recent instances of conflict and disagreement over transgender matters in an educational setting, such as a group of high school students in Batesville, Mississippi, who protested after a transgender classmate was allowed to don female clothing.
The latest? The fund is declaring "Victory!" thanks to a determination in Coy's favor. According to an organization release, "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."
The Colorado Civil Rights Division document, dated June 17, portrays the dispute over bathroom usage as much less problematic than the size of the controversy might imply. Steven Chavez, the report's author, points out that only one complaint was made about Coy, with the parent in question complaining more about the actions of her parents than which bathroom she was using. Moreover, the school and district (referred to as "the Respondent") is taken to task on a number of other issues. Here's a key excerpt:
Max helps Coy get into the swing of things.
Though the Respondent articulated various grounds to legitimize its position, none were substantiated by sufficient evidence. Instead, the Respondent misinterprets statutes and regulations, provides superfluous, irrelevant information, appears to invalidate the Charging Party's transgender status by referring to the Charging Party as he or "her" (note the use of quotation marks), and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the complexity of transgender issues. The Respondent's safety concerns for the Charging Party, as well, are misstated, since the Charging Party demonstrated that she was not in any danger while using the girls' bathroom. The Charging Party, on the other hand, provides evidence to demonstrate that using the girls' restroom was not disruptive to the school environment and permitted her to gain full acceptance from her peers.Here's what serves as the conclusion of the report:
In light of the totality of the evidence, the Respondent's grounds for the denial of service are not credible and are a pretext for denying the Charging Party equal treatment. The circumstances of this denial demonstrate a reasonable inference of discrimination based upon the sex and sexual orientation of the Charging Party. Therefore, a case of discriminatory denial of services has been established.The Mathis family is expected to hold a press conference today to speak about the ruling. In the meantime, here's the document in its entirety.
Continue for our previous coverage of the Coy Mathis story, including photos and videos.