My first exposure to a transgender person was in high school. I was in 9th grade and Danielle was in 11th. Although from outwards appearances you’d assume Danielle was a girl, in all actuality, she was born a boy. I can’t recall any harassment that she encountered, but I do recall during our mandatory swimming classes, she was allowed to change in a separate locker room from both the girls and boys. No one thought twice about it, back then.
Kathryn Mathis and her husband, of Colorado, are the parents of 6-year-old Coy. According to Coy’s parents, although Coy was born with male sex organs, their child has always identified as a girl. Up until recently their child was treated as a normal first grader, but was alarmed when they were notified that she could no longer use the girl’s restroom, but had the option to use the boy’s restroom or the gender-neutral nurse’s office restroom.
“We were very confused because everything was going so well, and they had been so accepting, and all of a sudden it changed and it was very confusing and very upsetting because we knew that, by doing that, she was going to go back to being unhappy,” she told CNN. “It was going to set her up for a lot of bad things.”
According to the Fountain-Fort Carson School District, it was done as a precautionary measure, and had to worry about the total student body, not just Coy. “We 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 school district’s attorney, W. Kelly Dude, told CNN Tuesday.
“However, I’m certain you can appreciate that, as Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom.”
In a statement, he added, “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.”
In Colorado, there’s nothing in the state law that requires bathroom preference based on the gender you identify with. The attorney for the school district clarified that they are in full compliance with the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
In addition to the discrimination suit being filed, the Mathis’ have removed Coy from the school. “In the end, we just want what is the best for Coy,” Mathis said. “We want her to be able to go back to school and be treated equally without discrimination and harassment.”
Do you think Coy should be allowed to use the girls bathroom?