Published June 24, 2013
The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled an elementary school discriminated against a transgender 6-year-old child by barring her from using the girls' bathroom.
KDVR reports the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund announced the ruling Sunday, and said they would hold a news conference Monday to explain the decision in the case of Coy Mathis, who was born a boy but identifies as a girl.
The fund filed the complaint on behalf of the child's parents Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, claiming that Coy has been discriminated against at Eagleside Elementary School, which is south of Colorado Springs.
Kathryn Mathis said in a statement that the family is "thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her."
Coy, who had attended the school since kindergarten, had been allowed to use the girls' restroom until December 2012, Reuters reports. The school's principal informed the child's parents that after the holiday break Coy must either use the boys' restroom or a gender-neutral one.
Her parents withdrew Coy from the school. In February, they filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
The division's report said the Fountain-Fort Carson School District violated a state law that extends protections to transgender people, according to Reuters.
"Given the evolving research into the development of transgender persons, compartmentalizing a child as a boy or girl solely based on their visible anatomy is a simplistic approach to a difficult and complex issue," the report said.
Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which filed the complaint, tells Reuters, "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."
The Mathis family has since moved to Denver, and Coy plans to attend a school there from now on, KDVR reports.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report