Colorado parents plan civil rights lawsuit after transgender first-grader banned from bathroom

Girl had been allowed to use girls bathroom

DENVER - A Colorado family is planning to file a civil rights lawsuit after a school banned their transgender first-grader from using the girls' restroom.

Coy Mathis, 6, was born male, but wears girls' clothing and students and staff use female pronouns when referring to her.

For the past year, Mathis, a first-grader at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain has used the girls' bathroom on campus.

But The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) said Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 changed its policy in December.  After winter break, district officials ordered Mathis to use the boys' bathroom, a staff bathroom, or the nurse's bathroom.

"By forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than all the other girls, Coy's school is targeting her for stigma, bullying and harassment," said Michael Silverman, TLDEF's executive director, and one of Mathis' lawyers.

"Through the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, Coloradans have made it clear that they want all Colorado children to have a fair and equal chance in school," he added. "Coy's school has the opportunity to turn this around and teach Coy's classmates a valuable lesson about friendship, respect and basic fairness."

This is the first case to challenge a restriction on a transgender person's bathroom use under Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act.

"We want Coy to have the same educational opportunities as every other Colorado student," said Kathryn Mathis, Coy's mother. "Her school should not be singling her out for mistreatment just because she is transgender."

The Mathis family was on the "Katie" show Tuesday on RTV6.

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