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School Board President Wants Charges Against Transgender Teen Dropped

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Jewlyes Gutierrez was charged with battery after fighting back against alleged bullies. (CBS)

Jewlyes Gutierrez was charged with battery after fighting back against alleged bullies. (CBS)

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HERCULES (KCBS) — The president of the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s board said he wants prosecutors to drop the criminal charge against an allegedly bullied transgender teen involved in a fight at Hercules High School.

Sixteen-year-old transgender student Jewelyes Gutierrez was the only person to face misdemeanor battery charges from the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office for a fight that happened in November with three other girls. The incident was partly recorded on a cell phone.

Gutierrez claims she is a victim of bullying.

“We know that incident happen and should be addressed, but is this a priority that should be for the district attorney’s office?” school board president Charles Ramsey said.

Ramsey said that all four students were suspended and have since apologized to each other.

“There is a lot of finger pointing and blame that can go around but believe the education code and suspensions have been the appropriate response to this incident,” he said.

Twenty-five thousand people have signed an online petition asking the case be dropped, but a deputy district attorney said that the Hercules Police Department asked that the case be prosecuted and the cell phone video only shows a portion of what actually happened.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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