As previously reported, the parents of Coy Mathis state that their son decided to stop living like a boy last year, as he complained about wearing jeans and t-shirts and gravitated more toward tutus and dresses.
“[Coy] wanted to know when we were going to take him to the doctor, so that they would give him girl parts, so that his body would be a girl,” Coy’s mother Katherine explained to reporters.
“[Coy told us,] ‘I’m a girl, but these people think I’m a boy, but really I’m not a boy,’” she said. “And we took her to the various doctors and they talked with her and came to the same conclusion: that for her emotional and mental well being she needed to be her true self.”
Therefore, Coy’s mom and dad then transitioned him into looking and dressing like a girl, and for a time, he was allowed to use the girl’s restroom at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colorado.
However, last December, the Fountain-Fort Carson School District contacted Coy’s parents and stated that he would no longer be allowed to use the facilities with the girls, but must instead use the boys’ restroom or the teachers’ bathrooms, which are private.
“Coy was born a male and at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom,” officials wrote in a letter to the family.
In response, Coy’s parents provided the school district with a copy of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, which states that those who wish to identify with those of the opposite gender must be allowed to use the restroom of their preference. The school district still refused, so Coy’s parents pulled him out of school and contacted the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, which filed a complaint with the state’s Division of Civil Rights.
On Sunday, the Division issued a report, ruling that the district discriminated against Coy.
“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,” it stated. “[The district] … deprived [Coy] of the social interaction and bonding that commonly occurs in girls’ restrooms during these formative years, i.e., talking, sharing and laughter.”
Coy’s mother applauded the ruling.
“Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her,” she said in a statement. “All we ever wanted was for Coy’s school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally.”
While the school district has not yet issued a statement on the decision, it did release comments during the proceedings, remarking that “[t]he District firmly believes it has acted reasonably and fairly with respect to this issue.”