Coy Mathis, 6, stands next to her mother, Kathryn Mathis, and her brother Max duringa press conference at the Colorado Capitol this week
Administrators at the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 should have allowed her to do so.
It’s unfortunate for the sake of the child that the situation has turned into such a spectacle when the law and state rules so plainly spell out the rights of transgender individuals.
The conflict came about when Eagleside Elementary school officials refused to allow Coy, who was born with a boy’s genitalia but identifies as a girl, to use the girls’ bathroom.
School officials required that she use the boys’ restroom, a staff bathroom or one in the nurse’s office.
The girl’s parents, Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, pulled Coy out of the school and have filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
Frankly, it doesn’t seem like a tough call. Colorado’s anti-discrimination rules clearly say transgender individuals shall be allowed to use the “gender-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity.”
And from a purely practical standpoint, there should be no issues with a child closing the restroom stall door behind her and using the facilities in private with no one seeing anything.
If there are issues, then we’re talking about misbehavior or a violation of privacy that should be pursued by school officials regardless of whether a student was transgender.
But practical considerations seem to have been lost in the more sensational debate over whether a 6-year-old can identify as a girl.
Gender identity, along with the process of determining it, is a complex issue that varies by individual.
The American Psychological Associationsays this about how people know they are transgender: “Transgender people experience their transgender identity in a variety of ways and may become aware of their transgender identity at any age. Some can trace their transgender identities and feelings back to their earliest memories.”
Are public school officials willing to say that this cute-as-a-button child, wearing a pink barrette and a jumper, does not identify as a girl?
And let’s not forget about compassion in the debate about law and gender identity. In the best of circumstances, transgender individuals have a rough road ahead of them for all kinds of reasons.
It shouldn’t be made more difficult by a public battle over a matter that should be as private and discreet as what someone looks like behind a closed bathroom door.
By The Denver Post Editorial Board
Read more:School wrong on transgender girl – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_22691781/school-wrong-transgender-girl#ixzz2MHby3xJj
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