Target: Members of Colorado’s Civil Rights Division
Goal: Support transgender identities in schools
A transgender first-grader who was born a boy but identifies as a girl has won the right to use the girls’ restroom at her Colorado elementary school. The decision was made by Colorado’s Civil Rights Division and the ruling will be filed under Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. Please sign this petition in support of expanding transgender rights in schools.
Coy Mathis had attended first grade at Eagleside Elementary for about 6-months when her parents were told she could no longer use the girls’ bathroom facilities. Mathis was born a boy but had been identifying as a girl at 18 months of age. After her parents sought help from medical professionals they decided to let Mathis live as a girl and support her gender identity. Since she was 3-years old, Mathis has been wearing girls’ clothing, keeps long hair and responds only to female pronouns. By almost all respects, Mathis is a girl. Her peers accept her as such.
Mathis’s parents were appalled when the school said their daughter would have to use the boys’ bathroom, gender-neutral faculty bathrooms or the nurse’s bathroom. The Mathis family pulled their daughter out of school and took her case to the Colorado Civil Rights Division. Recently the commission ruled in Mathis’ favor saying keeping the ban in place “creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive.”
The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund praised the ruling that was filled under Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. The group’s executive director, Michael Silverman said, “This ruling sends a loud and clear message that transgender students may not be targeted for discrimination and that they must be treated equally in school.”
Please sign this petition in support of the commission’s rule to expand transgender rights and allow students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Dear Members of Colorado’s Civil Rights Division,
I am writing to applaud your recent decision to expand transgender rights in schools. The case involved Coy Mathis, a first grader at Eagleside Elementary who was banned from using the girls’ bathroom despite living, and identifying as a female. Your decision to expand rights rather than limit them is sending the right message of acceptance to the community and school district.
Coy Mathis was born a boy but started identifying as a girl as soon as 18-months old, according to her parents. By 3-years old, Mathis was living as a girl with long hair, girls’ clothing and feminine pronouns. She had been attending the first grade as a girl for about 6 months, when she was told that she could no longer use the girls’ bathroom. Mathis was instructed to use the gender-neural adult bathrooms, the boys’ bathroom or the nurse’s bathroom instead. Mathis’ parents immediately pulled her from school, fearing for her safety, and went to the courts.
The Colorado Civil Rights Division recently ruled in favor of Mathis and mandated the Fountain-Fort Carson School District to respect her gender identity and treat her like any other little girl. The commission said keeping the ban in place “creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive.” Mathis will return to school immediately and her family hopes to put the whole thing behind them.
Thank you for identifying the obvious discrimination and safety risks associated with ostracizing a young student in this manner. Your ruling will undoubtedly impact a number of transgender students who need to concentrate on their education, not which bathroom they should be using.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: thinkprogress via Yahoo