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Transgendered Child's Family Files Complaint Against School Over Bathroom Use

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (CBS4) - A family from the Colorado Springs area is filing a formal complaint against their 6-year-old's school after administrators said their transgender child could no longer use the girls' bathroom.

Coy was born a male but identifies herself as a transgender female. She attended Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain but her parents have pulled her from class and are now home schooling her.

District officials with the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 wrote a letter to the parents saying after winter break Coy would have to stop using the girls' bathroom. Kathryn Mathis, Coy's Mom, told CBS4 she doesn't think that's fair; they think Coy is being singled out.

The letter stated, in part, that "Coy was born a male and at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls' restroom."

"We were very confused and frustrated because it was going so well. There hadn't been anything that had gone wrong," said Mathis.

Mathis said in Denver on Wednesday that her family's complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division is all about transgendered equality.

"It is illegal in the State of Colorado to discriminate against transgender people," said the Mathis family attorney Michael Silverman.

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is assisting Coy's family with the filing of the complaint.

Mathis said despite Coy's age, she has been very clear with them.

"Really, as soon as she was able to tell us 'I'm a girl, but these people think I'm a boy, but really I'm not a boy.' And we took her to the various doctors and they talked with her and came to the same conclusion: that for her emotional and mental well being she needed to be her true self," Mathis said.

Representatives with the TLDEF say this is the first case to challenge a restriction on a transgender person's bathroom use under Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act.

The Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 released this statement, "The parents of Coy Mathis have filed a charge of discrimination with the Colorado Division of Civil Rights. They have chosen to publicize this matter by appearing on a nationally televised show with their child, sharing their point of view with national and local media, and holding a public press conference to announce the filing of the charge. 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."

"We want Coy to be able to go back to school quickly," said Mathis. "Where she is treated like every other girl at school."

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