DENVER A Colorado first-grader named Coy Mathis has been featured by CNN and other news outlets because he wants to use the girls' restrooms at school, even though he was born a boy. His parents have filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division claiming the child should be allowed to use whatever restroom he feels like using.
Mathis reportedly has dressed like a girl for the past year and wants to be considered a girl. His parents even made sure his passport and state-issued identification recognize him as female, CNN said Feb. 27.
School officials informed the boy's parents that instead of using the boys' restrooms, he may use the gender-neutral faculty restrooms or the nurse's restroom, but he may not use the girls' restroom.
Officials "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," according to attorney W. Kelly Dude.
Mathis' parents, though, contend that by making their son use anything but the girls' restroom, the school is singling him out for "stigma, bullying and harassment."
"Coy's school has the opportunity to turn this around and teach Coy's classmates a valuable lesson about friendship, respect and basic fairness," Michael Silverman, a Mathis attorney and executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, told CNN.
Dude noted that the school is complying with the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act because the child attends class as all other students, is allowed to wear girls' clothing, is referred to as the parents have requested and has been granted access to restrooms other than the girls' restroom.
This news comes as, on the other side of the country, the Massachusetts Department of Education, prompted by a new state law that adds "gender identity" to the state's non-discrimination code, decided that boys and girls who identify as the opposite sex can use whichever school restroom they choose.