School district responds to complaint from parents of transgender girl

Coy Mathis

Coy Mathis

FOUNTAIN, Colo. — A Colorado school district has filed a response to a discrimination complaint filed by parents of a transgender girl who has been denied access to the girls’ restroom at her elementary school.

Attorneys for the Fountain-Fort Carson School District would not provide details of their response, claiming there was “no point arguing it in the media.”

Coy Mathis

The New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the complaint February 15 with the Colorado Civil Rights Division on behalf of Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, who claimed that Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colo., had discriminated against their six-year-old daughter Coy, by requiring her to use the boys’ or nurse’s restroom.

At the time of the filing, TLDEF attorney Michael Silverman said that barring Coy from the girls’ bathroom targeted her for stigma, bullying and harassment.

A letter from the school’s lawyers said, “The district’s decision took into account not only Coy but other students in the building, their parents, and the future impact a boy with male genitals using a girls’ bathroom would have as Coy grew older.”

The district had until Sunday, March 17 to respond to the commission, and according to Kelly Dude, an attorney for the school district, the response was filed on Friday ahead of the deadline.

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Mediation, which had been suggested as part of a legal resolution, was rejected by school district officials.

“The parents chose this forum and that’s where we are going to have it resolved,” Dude said. “There is no point arguing it in the media.”

Coy’s parents say the school is in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, which was expanded in 2008 to include sexual orientation “inclusive of transgender status.” They now have 30 days to respond to district’s filing with the commission.

Coy is being home schooled until the complaint is resolved.

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