"Coy's school has the opportunity to turn this around and teach Coy's classmates a valuable lesson about friendship, respect and basic fairness," said Silverman, who is representing the family in their complaint.
He said the family has known since Coy was a baby that she was struggling with gender identification.
When Coy began complaining about "something wrong" with her body, her parents took her to a specialist, who diagnosed gender identity disorder. Doctors recommended no immediate medical intervention but to let her "live as a girl," he explained. "They spoke to the school and they said, 'fine.'"
Since kindergarten, Coy has presented as female. Some of the school's bathrooms had no gender designation, but for those that did, she used the girls' facilities.
Silverman said that when the family was notified that the little girl would no longer be allowed to use the girls' bathroom, they were not aware of any complaints from parents or other students.
"It was a seemingly placid situation at the school," he said.
TLDEF wrote a letter to the elementary school hoping they would reconsider. "They said, 'no,'" according to Silverman.
The decision of the civil rights board is binding, so if an agreement can't be reached, either side can appeal to the courts.