Local Group Stands Up For Coy Mathis And Transgender Students

A local group is sounding off to support a transgender girl.

The Pikes Peak Safe @ School Coalition is coming forward to support transgender girl Coy Mathis.

They spoke up at the Fountain-Fort Carson School Board meeting Wednesday night.

Members of the coalition said in a press release, “All students deserve the right to be safe and welcome in school so they can be academically successful.”

The Coalition spoke at the meeting to stand up for Coy and hundreds of other transgender students in our communities.

The group educates schools on how to create a safe and bully free place, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Wednesday night they urged the district to let “Coy be Coy.” Coy Mathis was told she could no longer use the girl’s bathroom at her school, Eagleside Elementary School in the Fountain-Fort Carson School District.

Coalition members say the “discomfort of some does not excuse discrimination.”

"We know from the work we do that it is very important for transgender students to feel accepted and to feel their identity is being respected,” said member Brett Gray.

The coalition tells us they’ve worked with 450 local educators and 330 students in the past two years to support schools advancing equality and fairness.

They wanted to offer their support for Fountain-Fort Carson School District, to help train their educators, counselors, and even bus drivers on bias-based bullying prevention and treatment of transgender students.

The group said they support the school’s initial treatment of Coy, but then were upset to hear that they won’t allow her to use the girl’s bathroom.

The coalition said in the meeting that “Transgender students, nine in 10 who already suffer harassment for their nonconformity, should not have to live under magnified difference and discrimination.” They added, “Singling out a transgender student and requiring them to use a gender-neutral restroom in a separate area from the student population prompts feelings of isolation and difference.”

The group urged the district “to teach through more than class work, and to stand up on behalf of all students and crate safe space.”

11 News tried to get comment from school board members, but they say they’re not commenting on the Coy Mathis case.

We were told case was going 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.

The Pikes Peak Safe @ School Coalition is a local group convened at Inside Out Youth Services. They say it “involves teachers, parents, students, and community organizations in an effort to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.