We are Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, the parents of five children in Fountain, Colorado. One of our daughters, Coy, is six years old and in first grade. Just before Christmas, Coy's school told us that after winter break, they would no longer allow her to use the girls' bathroom, because she is transgender.
They gave Coy three options for where to go to the bathroom; the boys' room, the staff bathroom with adults, or the nurse's bathroom which is used by sick children.
Coy is not sick, she is not an adult, and she is not a boy.
Coy is a girl. She wears girls' clothes, is addressed by everyone at the school using female pronouns, and has been accepted by her classmates and teachers as a girl. But if the school separates her from all her classmates to use the bathroom, they are singling her out for mistreatment, and teaching her classmates that it's okay to discriminate.
We want our daughter to have the same educational opportunities as every other Colorado student.
We have filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division asking the school to treat Coy like any other girl, because that's been the law in Colorado since 2007, when the state banned discrimination based on gender identity.
But we want our children's school to treat our daughter equally because it's the right thing to do, not because the law forces them to.
Please tell officials at Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 that teaching children to discriminate is wrong.
This is a valuable learning opportunity not just for Eagleside Elementary School's students, but also for its teachers, its parents, and even yourselves. Coy is a little girl who is being denied her dignity, and her classmates are being denied the chance to learn about embracing diversity and respecting all people, no matter who they are, and no matter what our personal feelings are.
Please allow Coy to once again use the bathroom that matches her identity as a girl.