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HERCULES (CBS SF) — Battery charges against an East Bay teenage transgender student who was bullied by her high school classmates have been dropped.
16-year-old Jewlyes Gutierrez completed a conflict resolution program offered by the judge in return for the misdemeanor charges being dropped, the Transgender Law Center reported.
Gutierrez got into a fight last November with three girls who authorities said had harassed and bullied her at Hercules High School. The fight was captured on cellphone video and widely distributed.
Gutierrez claimed she had reported the ongoing harassment to school officials previously but no action was taken.
She and the other non-trangender girls were all suspended from school but Gutierrez was the only one charged with a crime.
School board president Charles Ramsey at the time said he wasn’t sure why the district attorney was pressing charges against Gutierrez.
“If a crime happens, a crime happens but, I’d like to have a better understanding of the rationale and motivation behind it and sort of learn why this is not a punishment enough, especially when the child expresses a position that they had been bullied,” said Ramsey.
Kaylie Simon, Gutierrez’s public defender, echoed the sentiment. “I don’t understand quite why the district attorney’s office would prosecute someone who’s already been a victim of bullying. I think it’s a further victimization of someone who’s been a target,” said Simon.
Last March, another transgender student claimed he was assaulted in the boy’s bathroom, but later recanted the story.