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Transgender child caught up in legal dispute

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 26 2013 11:58:54 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2013 05:26:26 PM CST

Transgender child caught up in legal dispute

FOUNTAIN, CO -

A 6-year-old transgender student in Fountain is at the heart of a civil rights complaint. The parents of Coy Mathis accuse the Fountain-Fort Carson School District of discrimination.

The parents say their child's banned from using the girls bathroom. The child was born a boy but identifies as a girl.

A complaint was filed Tuesday by the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which says even though Coy was labeled a male at birth, she has always known she was a girl and expressed that since she was 18 months old.

Coy is a first-grader at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain. For the past year, she has been using the girls bathroom. In December, the district informed her parents that she would be prevented from doing that after winter break. According to the complaint, the district told her to use the boys bathroom, a staff bathroom or the nurse's bathroom. Coy's parents have taken her out of school until the complaint is resolved.

Her mother, Kathryn Mathis, is quoted as saying, "We want Coy to return to school... but we are afraid to send her back until we know that the school is going to treat her fairly. She's still just six years old and we do not want one of our daughter's earliest experiences to be our community telling her she's not good enough.

KRDO received the following statement from the Fountain-Fort Carson School District on Wednesday afternoon:

The parents of Coy Mathis have filed a charge of discrimination with the Colorado Division of Civil Rights.  They have chosen to publicize this matter by appearing on a nationally televised show with their child, sharing their point of view with national and local media, and holding a public press conference to announce the filing of the charge.  The District firmly believes it has acted reasonably and fairly with respect to this issue.  However, the District believes the appropriate and proper forum for discussing the issues identified in the charge is through the Division of Civil Rights process.  The District is preparing a response to the charge which it will submit to the Division.  Therefore, the District will not comment further on this matter out of respect for the process which the parents have initiated."

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