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Bullied Calif. Trans Student Charged With Battery

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Jan 9, 2014

A transgender high school student from Hercules, Calif., which is about 10 miles north of Berkeley, was recently charged with battery for a November fight, despite claims that incident was a provoked as a result of bullying against the trans student, ABC's San Francisco affiliate station KGO-TV reports.

Officials from Hercules High School's school district plan to meet to discuss the fight that broke out between 16-year-old Jewyles Gutierrez, who is transgender, and another female student.

"She spit gum in her hand and it was full of saliva and threw it in my face," Gutierrez told KGO-TV. She added that she could charge the student that bullied her with battery, but instead, the student has charged Gutierrez with a misdemeanor battery.

"That's why I'm so confused why this is happening," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said she started the fight because she was being bullied for being transgender.

"It comes to a point where you can't take it anymore," she said.

According to San Francisco's KRON 4's Dec. 2 report, the fight in question involved three female students and Gutierrez.

At the time, Gutierrez said she was "just sticking up for myself" and that she feels "unsafe."

The students were reportedly suspended for the fight. Hercules police say the fight broke out because Gutierrez hit one of the other female students in the school's courtyard. That girl and two other female students then started fighting Gutierrez.

"I just, kinda like, enough is enough," Gutierrez told KRON 4. "You could stretch a rubber band so far and then it will just snap."

Cell phone footage of the fight shows the students pulling hair and pushing each other. According to the authorities, the students were only scratched up as a result of the incident.

Kaylie Simon, a public defender, told KGO-TV that she doesn't understand why "the District Attorney's office would persecute someone who's already been a victim of bullying."

"I think it's a further victimization of somebody who's been a target of homophobia and transphobia," Simon said.

Gutierrez is readying a petition to urge the district attorney to drop the charges against her.

Watch KRON 4's report below:


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