The Denver Post reports
the Colorado Civil Rights Division
has ruled in favor of Coy Mathis, a six-year-old first-grader who was not allowed to use the girl's room at Eagleside Elementary School
in Fountain. Mathis, who was born a boy, has been transgender ever since she can remember, dressing in girl's clothing and playing with girls' toys since she was a toddler. She once even asked her mother to take her to a doctor to get 'fixed.' Mathis' parents filed a complaint
against their daughter's school in February, alleging discrimination against her based on her gender identity.
Colorado is one of 16 states that have laws protecting transgender people from discrimination. The state's decision found that Mathis' rights had been violated.
"Given the evolving research into the development of transgender persons, compartmentalizing a child as a boy or girl solely based on their visible anatomy is a simplistic approach to a difficult and complex issue," the Civil Rights Division report stated. It also said that Mathis' school forced her to "disregard her identity" by forcing her to use the boys' restroom.
"It also deprived her of the social interaction and bonding that commonly occur in girls' restrooms during these formative years, i.e. talking, sharing and laughter," the report added.
"Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her," mother Kathryn Mathis said in a statement. "All we ever wanted was for Coy's school to treat her the same as the other little girls. We are extremely happy that she will now be treated equally."
"This ruling sends a loud and clear message that transgender students may not be targeted for discrimination and that they must be treated equally in school," Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF)
, which filed the complaint, said. "It is a victory for Coy and a triumph for fairness."
The state's ruling will not affect Mathis at the school which barred her from using its female restrooms because her family has moved to the Denver area.
A similar story unfolded in Bangor, Maine recently
: Transgender student Nicole Maines says her rights were violated when she was forced to use a different bathroom because a student's family member complained.