School Responds In Case of Transgendered Girl

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Today, School District 8 responded to statements issued yesterday by GLAAD and TLDEF. School officials say they regret that the family and its attorney have chosen to discuss this sensitive matter in the media.

In a press release issued by school officials today, they say they will submit their response to the charges filed, which will also disclose that the parents declined to meet with district officials when invited to do so in Dec. 2012.

District officials went on to say they believe mediation would be unproductive in light of the parent's refusal to meet and that the best course of action would be to discuss the matter in the Colorado Division of Civil Rights.

New information in the case of a transgendered girl whose school is refusing to let her use the girls' restroom.

We learned Thursday that the case will now go to the investigation phase by the Division of Civil Rights in Colorado.

The division has 180 days to complete the investigation. Once the division makes a ruling, the party that's "ruled against" can appeal. At that point, the case will enter the court system.

GLAAD, a media advocacy and anti-defamation organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) announced in a statement Thursday that Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colo. has rejected mediation. Full statement below:

GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) today announced that Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, CO has rejected mediation in a civil rights case asking the school to allow 6 year-old transgender student Coy Mathis to use the girls' bathroom at her school.

In mid-December, the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 told Coy's parents that the first grader would no longer be able to use the girls' bathrooms. The District said Coy could only use the boys' bathroom, a staff bathroom that is used only by adults, or the nurse's bathroom, which is otherwise used by sick children.

"Coy is not sick, she is not an adult, and she is not a boy," said Coy's parents, Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis. "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 are saddened that her school will not even come to the table to talk about this issue."

Kathryn and Jeremy launched a petition,

"These signatures should show Coy's school that they are on the wrong side of this issue," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "All kids need to feel welcomed by their communities. Thankfully, thousands of Americans are sending Coy the right message, even as her school is still insisting on sending the wrong one."

By refusing mediation in the case, the school has denied the Mathis family a chance to speak with school officials to try to come to a resolution.

"Colorado law requires Coy's school to let her use the girls' bathroom, and we are shocked that her school will not even meet to talk about this so that Coy can quickly return to school," said TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman. "Nothing should be more important to a school than ensuring that students can attend safely and without discrimination.

TLDEF has filed a civil rights complaint against the school on behalf of the Mathis family, based on the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination against transgender students in public schools.

GLAAD and TLDEF have been working closely with the Mathis family to tell their story nationwide, to dispel some of the misinformation and stereotypes that can lead to harmful decisions like the one made by Coy's school."

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