February 26, 2013

Colorado Family to Announce Complaint Alleging School Discrimination Against Transgender Child

Legal Complaint Alleges Six-Year-Old Transgender Girl Denied Access to Girls' Bathrooms at School

DENVER, CO - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, February 27, on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol Building to announce the filing of a Complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division on behalf of a 6-year-old girl who has been barred from using the girls’ bathrooms at her elementary school.   For the past year, Coy Mathis, a first-grader at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, CO, has used the girls’ bathrooms.  In mid-December 2012, the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 informed her parents that Coy would be prevented from using the girls’ bathrooms after winter break.  The District ordered Coy to use the boys’ bathroom, a staff bathroom, or the nurse’s bathroom.  This is the first case to challenge a restriction on a transgender person’s bathroom use under Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act.

WHAT:  Press Conference

WHEN:  Wednesday, February 27,  11:00 am

WHERE:  West Steps of the Colorado State Capitol Building, 200 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado

WHO:  TLDEF Executive Director Michael D. Silverman; Kathryn Mathis, Jeremy Mathis, six-year-old Coy Mathis and siblings, community members.

WHY:  “We want Coy to have  the same educational opportunities as every other Colorado student ,” said Kathryn Mathis, Coy’s mother.  “Her school should not be singling her out for mistreatment just because she is transgender.”

“By forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than all the other girls, Coy’s school is targeting her for stigma, bullying and harassment,” said Michael Silverman, TLDEF’s executive director, and one of Coy’s lawyers.  “Through the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, Coloradans have made it clear that they want all Colorado children to have a fair and equal chance in school,” he added.  “Coy’s school has the opportunity to turn this around and teach Coy’s classmates a valuable lesson about friendship, respect and basic fairness.”


Click for high-resolution photos of the Mathis family, which you are free to use without credit.