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Coy Mathis, transgender first-grader: School district won’t mediate in bathroom dispute


It’s a story that’s gone national, and no wonder. The conflict between the Fountain-based family of Coy Mathis, a six-year-old first-grader born male who identifies as female, and the local school district over which bathroom she can access offers a fascinating window into gender questions and shifting values.
Here’s how Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, who have four other kids aside from Coy (she’s a triplet), describe their situation in a Change.org petition headlined “Our Transgender Daughter Is Just Another Girl: Tell Her School to Stop Discriminating:”
We are Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, the parents of five children in Fountain, Colorado. One of our daughters, Coy, is six years old and in first grade. Just before Christmas, Coy’s school told us that after winter break, they would no longer allow her to use the girls’ bathroom, because she is transgender.

They gave Coy three options for where to go to the bathroom; the boys’ room, the staff bathroom with adults, or the nurse’s bathroom which is used by sick children.
Coy is not sick, she is not an adult, and she is not a boy.
Coy is a girl. She wears girls’ clothes, is addressed by everyone at the school using female pronouns, and has been accepted by her classmates and teachers as a girl. But if the school separates her from all her classmates to use the bathroom, they are singling her out for mistreatment, and teaching her classmates that it’s okay to discriminate.
We want our daughter to have the same educational opportunities as every other Colorado student.
We have filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division asking the school to treat Coy like any other girl, because that’s been the law in Colorado since 2007, when the state banned discrimination based on gender identity.
But we want our children’s school to treat our daughter equally because it’s the right thing to do, not because the law forces them to.
The intro ends with this note: “Please tell officials at Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 that teaching children to discriminate is wrong.” And plenty of people have done so. The petition has more than 25,000 signatures on it, with many of them accompanied by messages like these:
Coy IS a girl. For whatever reason, people think that the genitals of a trans person are open to discussion, this does not happen to anyone else! Maybe you should ask all the kids to show their parts before they go in. Nope, didn’t think that was a good idea. Let Coy pee where she wants….As a teacher in elementary school and a transgender person myself, I know that the well being of a child is so much more important than dogma’s. We should all care for our children and let them know we love and support them unconditionally. The Mathis family is doing exactly the right thing for their daughter and should get all the support they need….
It’s a bathroom with stalls, right? What’s the issue?

Thank you Mom 

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