A first-grader in Colorado was recently banned from using the girls’ restroom. Coy Mathis is a Girl Scout that loves pink and looks adorable with barrettes in her hair -- but she was born a boy. For that, her Fountain, Colorado school said that she would not be allowed to use the same facilities as her female classmates.
Coy’s parents have filed an official discrimination complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and are speaking out publicly to defend their child. Mom Kathryn said, “The more you talk about something, the more awareness and acceptance there is ... we’re really just trying to make it known what the school has done and make them accountable.”
Here’s a question for the school officials that made this decision: What kind of public school did they grow up in where kids get naked in front of each other during bathroom breaks? The district claims that it barred Coy from the girls’ room because of how it would affect other students “and the future impact a boy with male genitals using a girls’ bathroom would have as Coy grew older.”
As far as I’m concerned, I think it would be more unsettling to the other children to see a girl -- for all intents and purposes -- using the boys’ bathroom. The school seemed to recognize this, and told Coy’s parents that she could use the restroom in the nurse’s office or the one reserved for teachers. Yeah, no potential for disaster there.
The family has since decided to homeschool Coy and plans to sue the school, which, as it turns out, is violating state law. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act “prohibits discrimination against transgender students in public schools.”
We could debate all day long on whether we should let 6-year-olds decide if they’re the wrong gender, but this family has made a parenting choice -- one that they say works for them. Coy was apparently miserable as a boy and wanted to know when his parents could take him to the doctor to “fix” him to be a girl. They met with a psychologist and made the decision to let Coy transition into girlhood.
Maybe it’s a phase, maybe it’s not, but her mom says that her depression and anxiety melted away. They’ve never had problems with any of her friends’ parents, and until this particular issue, it seems she was thriving.
If she looks like a girl, acts like a girl, and lives as a girl, Coy should be allowed to use the girls’ room at her public school. Any parents that are uncomfortable with that should consider other educational options.
Do you think the school made the right decision, or are they out of line?
Image via Carey Tilden/Flickr