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California

Transgender teen faces battery charge for defending herself from bullies

Friday, January 10, 2014

HERCULES, Calif. — A transgender teenager who says she has been repeatedly bullied by other students at a California high school is now facing a criminal charge for defending herself during a confrontation.

Jewlyes Gutierrez

Jewlyes Gutierrez

Jewlyes Gutierrez, a 16-year-old sophomore at Hercules High School, was charged on Nov. 25 for a school fight that was captured on camera. Jewlyes said the girls in the incident had taunted, harassed and bullied her about her gender identity prior to the Nov. 13 incident.

Jewlyes and other three students involved in the fight were suspended and later apologized to each other, and since the incident, there has been no further harassment. But prosecutors would not explain why Jewlyes was charged after she was punished by the school district.

Hercules police said Jewlyes started the fight by throwing the first punch, but Jewlyes claims she was acting in self defense. No charges have been filed against the other three girls.

Now, family and friends of have launched a petition asking Contra Costa County district attorney Mark Peterson to drop the misdemeanor battery charge against Jewlyes, reports KNTV.

The DA’s office has not commented on the charges, but West Contra Costa School Board president Charles Ramsey says the case is not ”something that should rise the level of where it has to go to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution.”

KNTV reports:

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116 more reader comments:

  1. That is just not right!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:25pm
  2. Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:26pm
  3. Thanks for the petition link,Jennifer,signed and sharing it right away !!

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:38pm
  4. signed and shared...

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:06pm
  5. WTF?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:26pm
  6. Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:26pm
  7. That poor girl! Literally defending herself because she was being abused for being who she is!!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:27pm
  8. SHE did the right thing. FUCK YOU bullies.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:27pm
  9. Protect YourSelves Sisters.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:28pm
  10. bullshit..her parents should sue the hell out of that school district

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:28pm
  11. actually I rather hear a story like this than of her getting beat up

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:28pm
  12. or killed.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:58pm
  13. I'd rather be beat up than put through the system, labeled a violent criminal, have extra roadblocks in between me and finding a job other than being trans which is bad enough, possibly spend time in a cell where trans women are assaulted or raped by inmates or officers a high percentage of times, and having my name dragged through the mud victimizing me again.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:03pm
  14. On a second thought,Melissa is right,folks !

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:37pm
  15. I'd rather she shot and killed them and got off for standing her ground.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:58pm
  16. gee do i have to make a choice ? i' really would not want either. i have been beaten up growing up many times. i would never want to be in any kind of altercation with a gen woman because i know i would get my ass beat and then be the person charged . thankfully it's not likely for me to get in any altercation with a woman.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:21am
  17. With more trans people like her around the bullies might think twice.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:30am
  18. So sad. I can’t wait for the day people won’t be ostracized for being who they are.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:28pm
  19. Unfortunitly society thinks we are scary because they do not understand us.And I pray for the day when they actually open up their minds and see

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:38pm
  20. Society sucks. Everyone should be allowed to be who they are and be happy. Murderers and rapist and child molesters being the exception.....they don't get to be happy in the world I wish to have.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:01pm
  21. I feel so bad for her. See what this country is doing? We ask for anti-bullying laws and we get laughed at. People defend themselves and THEY get in trouble. How messed up is that? Seriously, just allow one or the other!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:29pm
  22. That’s ridiculous. They need to help the REAL victim out by charging the other guy.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:30pm
  23. NO THAT IS THE MAXIMUM EXPRESSION OF AMERICAN INJUSTICE! SAY NO TO BULLYING AND HOMOPHOBIA NOW! SHAME ON YOU CALIFORNIA WHAT A DISGRACE THE LAWS ARE IN YOUR STATE. IF THIS PERSON IS CONVICTED FOR SELF DEFENSE YOU WILL HAVE MORE HEAT ON YOUR BEHINDS THAT YOU EVER EVEN THOUGHT OF WATCH OUT WE THE WORLD ARE OBSERVING YOU CALI!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:30pm
  24. Hiya, Iove the passion :) , I just wanted to point out that this isn't homophobia as it's not about sexuality, it's transphobia.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:34pm
  25. No kidding! this is not rocket science! the fact is that we all fall under the same category that is why we have the LGBT group. Thanks but, i know exactly what transphobia and homophobia are. FOCUS ON THE POINT DARLING! please and thank you do not deviate from the point.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:42pm
  26. I feel that I was focusing on an important point (while loving the spirit of your statement!) which to me as a trans person is that by referring to transphobia as homophobia, the experiences/existence of heterosexual trans folk are marginalized/erased.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:24pm
  27. Sad truth is that many many straight folk and uneducated folk think that if you are trans, you are also homosexual. They are wrong, of course, but it is a common belief. I totally see why you wanted to bring up the difference, Krissy.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:31pm
  28. Thanks Laura, l feel it's important not to refer to people who transition as being homosexual unless they actually are (or bi- unless they actually are, or herero- unless they actually are). There is a long history of transsex females being missexed/sexualized as male homosexuals. The word 'transsexual' itself has it's roots in this misbelief which is why up until the end of last century, transsex females who weren't exclusively attracted to males were generally not allowed medical treatment (i.e. to transition) by mental health gatekeepers on the grounds that we did not fit their definition of 'transsexual'.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:55pm
  29. Peace i am out. Can't stand Malarkey.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:16pm
  30. Here s an idea, i just had 150 homosexuals and gay friendly people sign a petition to protect this person,how about the two of you do the same and start been proactive towards defending the human rights of this person. What have you done for her lately!

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:39pm
  31. Although you feel entitled to dismiss my perspective on trans issues, even though I am a trans person (and you, unless I am mistaken in which case I apologize, are not) by referring to my concerns as "Malarky", I wish you peace as well :)

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:39pm
  32. again Malarkey, get with the program sign the petition and just stop your malarkey. Enough!

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:41pm
  33. CeCeMcDonald redux?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:31pm
  34. This is the patriarchy in action. They encourage the perpetuation of existing power structure and punish any person who threatens to upset it.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:33pm
  35. i don't know. she did throw the first punch. i don't think it's the dreaded "patriarchy", i just see it as the authorities selectively punishing someone because they don't like them or fear them- general vindictiveness and ignorance.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:03am
  36. This would happen no matter who you are…the victims have no rights.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:33pm
  37. Matthew–probably.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:33pm
  38. The School Board President said its nuts, that’s some help.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:33pm
  39. Wow thats bs …

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:34pm
  40. Even though I don’t Condone Fighting, I think this is sending da wrong message 2 da Bullies..Smfdh!! #CanUSayLawSuit

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:37pm
  41. I hate bullies!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:41pm
  42. If she hadn’t defended herself, would the bullies be up on battery charges? History, and not even very recent history, indicates that probably not.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:41pm
  43. I signed the petition. Too long bullies have gotten away with harassing people until the point where someone finally reacts and the bully wants to act like a victim. This needs to end.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:45pm
  44. Would have to see more before I can say she’s guilty or innocent.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:46pm
  45. If this would have been some other girl, things would have not escalated this far.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:46pm
  46. Hmmmm… three on one.. just saying

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:48pm
  47. Sign the petition!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:50pm
  48. This is definitely a “stand your own ground” against BULLIES.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:52pm
  49. Fucking little bitches deserve a good slap.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:52pm
  50. I signed the petition

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:55pm
  51. Ridiculous! Stay strong, girl!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:56pm
  52. Such unfairness.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:59pm
  53. Seems like an obvious case of discriminatory prosecution. If she wasn’t transgender would she have been charged? I don’t think so.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:07pm
  54. rampant victim-shaming

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:09pm
  55. That who threw the first punch shit doesn’t fly when you’re being threatened and harassed. If she was left alone, she would not have to punch.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:12pm
  56. How the hell does this idiot DA say “We can’t pick and choose who we charge.” When none of the bullies were charged with anything? Jewelyes was assaulted and they picked and chose not to charge the bullies, and instead charged the victim.

    He’s literally picking and choosing who to charge already and saying he can’t do that! “Words cannot justify fists.” Spitting on someone is an act of assault. When being physically threatened, self-defense justifies fists. It’s not a hard concept. Unless you’re a bigot.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:16pm
  57. It seems all were guilty and all apologized and are at least tolerating each other – so why not have all of them up on charges?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:17pm
  58. http://glsen.org/learn/research/national/report-harsh-realities Transgender kids face even worse bullying than lesbian, bisexual or gay students, and it is the duty of the school to protect them. Clearly the school didn’t protect her which is why she was forced to defend herself from 3 kids at once. She should not be charged, certainly not if the other girls aren’t charged.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:20pm
  59. I hope she tracked them up!!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:20pm
  60. Mark Peterson, it is in your best interest to not make this into something it doesn’t need to be…

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:20pm
  61. Victimized by the system.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:49pm
  62. Hopefully the ones doing the bullying face FEDERAL HATE CRIME Charges for their part in the action.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:56pm
  63. she should sue the school district for not protecting her rights

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:10pm
  64. Combat,conquer,or die the best phrase I have every learnt. Its the only way these bullies will learn.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:21pm
  65. BASH BACK.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:30pm
  66. WE homosexuals are behind you girl 100% you are not alone!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:42pm
  67. Oh now they’re not even allowed to defend themselves? This is why I hate people.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:48pm
  68. LGBTQ? what dos it stand for? should’nt it be LGBTQH? who is singling out and omiting a group because of their sexual preference ?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:49pm
  69. Honey next time shoot them dead and say you stood your ground.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:58pm
  70. is there a good lawyer out there to take her case?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:58pm
  71. Isn’t it a heartwarming thing to see just how much authority figures care about bullying when it happens to someone they don’t agree with?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:46am
  72. Well, you pretty much lose the right to self-defense in public schools because the state practically owns your body

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:52am
  73. how discriminatory.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:08am
  74. Love her!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:27am
  75. The DA who was smirking on TV should be held on charges of BULLYING!!! Could the ACLU be called in on this?!?!?!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:31am
  76. she should not be getting charged because people are mean and push different people to the limit of this. they deserved it. Hang in there hun!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:53am
  77. This story has me in tears is so not right let people live their life the way it makes them happy.Humans beings can be so cruel.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:36am
  78. I’ve signed the petition and am reposting!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:02am
  79. Why do republicans think the victims should be charged?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:03am
  80. fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:39am
  81. it’s always the fault of the “underdog” – no disrespect meant.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:45am
  82. OK now the justice system is just being stupid on purpose -_- NEVER regret standing up for yourself and fight back against those dumb enough to try you booboo <3

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:53am
  83. Figures

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 6:58am
  84. Disgusting, the bullies now are the legal system.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:09am
  85. I’m proud of her. Were seeing how the system is rigged against bullied transgender teenagers. Several savage animals relentlessly bully her and back her into a corner and she courageously fights back against several subhuman neanderthal creatures and is then somehow prosecuted by a guy/DA who obviously has no respect for trans people. Nice move DA we recognize your disrespect.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:28am
  86. Why is getting picked on gays, transsexuals, etc., when they finally manage to come out of the closet?
    It’s not about showing that something better, or so one is: you want to finally get rid of the distress under which one years – has suffered for decades, only to fit into the picture or to please people who do not appreciate one anyway – or not to be discriminated against.
    Everyone wants to be who he really is – why do / that many people can not understand?
    This “normal” people could the pressure to which one is exposed not withstand.
    So let us live our lives as we’ll let you live yours.
    Accepts us as we are!
    We are quite normal and want to be treated that way, that’s all.
    Our identity is to us!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:43am
  87. bitch slap them honey…it just stings….but shows you can hit back!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:29am
  88. GOOD FOR HER!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:32am
  89. What the fuck?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:02am
  90. punish the victim, episode 2, 000,000 :-(

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:47am
  91. Way to go girl , don’t let the haters win

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:01pm
  92. Sad truth of this is it likely had less to do with her identity and more to do with the fact she actually chose to fight them. Not that I don’t support her choice I would have done the same faced with the same, however our laws are shit for self defense and that is the true criminal offense in all of this

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:52pm
  93. KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.I’M A LESBIAN,NOT WELL AND HAVE BEEN BULLIED BY NEIGHBOURS FOR OVER 24YRS.POLICE TELL ME TO LOCK MYSELF INSIDE SO I DON’T ANNOY NEIGHBORS.I HAD ENOUGH,THEIR CATS KILLED BIRDS IN MY YARD,I THREW ROCK AT FENCE TO SCARE CAT.4 NEIGHBOURS COME WITH THEIR MUNGREL DOGS.I GRAB STICK TO DEFEND MYSELF ON MY OWN PROPERTY.MOTHER GOES ME AFTER HIDING BEHIND DAUGHTER,I ACCIDENTLY HIT DAUGHTER WHEN TRYING TO DEFEND MYSELF(NASTY GIRL AS WELL,CALLS ME LESBIAN SLUT)THEY CALL POLICE SAYING I HAD GUN SHOOTING AT THEM.(I DON’T HAVE A GUN(YET) I GET CHARGED FOR ASSAULT AND TOLD STAY LOCKED IN MY OWN FUCKEN HM.JUSTICE AND THE LAW ARE SO FUCKED.THE GUILTY WALK THE STREETS YET WE HAVE TO HIDE…FUCK ANYONE NOW WHO GETS IN MY WAY…I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!! ALL YOU FUCKWITS STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME OR FIND OUT WHAT I AM LIKE WHEN CORNERED…FUCK YOU ALL!!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:03pm
  94. Wouldn’t getting rid of facial hair be one of the first things to rid of?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:07pm
  95. Schools are notorious for not protecting transgender people. When she’s left to protect herself, she should not be punished for doing so. The DA should be ashamed of filing charges. — from a retired teacher.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:29pm
  96. For defending herself?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:28pm
  97. Its not for defening her self its most likely for not stoping after she got them down, that’s what would happen to me any way.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:36pm
  98. The bullies need to be charged

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:40pm
  99. This is B.S.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:05pm
  100. Hercules police said Jewlyes started the fight by throwing the first punch.

    Doesn’t matter if you’re straight gay Trans or whatever. Doesn’t matter how much people make fun of you. You throw the first punch YOU become the physicals aggressor. YOU are in the wrong. PERIOD.

    Regardless of how I personally feel about bullies or whatever, the law is very clear. She needs to be charged and if you support someone resorting to this, then YOU are just as bad as she is and part of the problem.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:12pm
  101. We should have anti-stalking laws tho, honestly. It's no wonder we have celebrities and children alike pushed to the brink when your personal space doesn't belong to you or your kids. The problem here is that, while the first hit does designate blame within the law, that law does not account for baiting, for verbal threats, for the very fact that police are a doubtful source of information. We can't shrug off our current laws but we can make it harder for bullies to get the upper hand, that is why I think people are drawn to this story, because people shouldn't have to feel like striking a person away from them is their only option.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:35pm
  102. I think she gave those nasty creatures that were bullying her far less than they deserved. The law saying she was wrong for lashing out at those subhuman creatures for tormenting her is bogus. PERIOD

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:40pm
  103. Trust me, I don't condone bullying. And they deserved more ass whooping for 2 yrs of torment. But two wrongs don't make it a right. And I have to disagree about the lashing out part or making it a crime for baiting or verbal threats. That's a slippery slope and will lead to too many violation of our1st amendment rights. She just has to LEARN to deal with it and press on with life. Or end up in jail one day for not being able to control yourself.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:51pm
  104. Wow. Blame the victim much John? You don't think she should defend herself (and you make some good oint here but..) but then you also don't think bullies should be punished for anything short of actual physical harm? Your only solution is to ignore it? That's disgusting.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:06pm
  105. Brent Malloy first of all she's NOT a victim. She chose to throw the first punch. Stop playing that victim card. If they physically attacked her, then she has the right to fight back. Second there are bullying laws, as well as retarded ass cyber bullying laws in place, but without any history reporting of this, then it's only speculation and here say. So it's on her to report it from the get go. Thirdly, if you have to resort to physical violence because you can't handle words, then you are going to have a tough life and are no better than them. I've been in many fights, I've never started one, and not once was it because of someone called me some names. So because someone calls me a bitch that gives me the right to knock their teeth in?

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:30pm
  106. Your exactly right Jackie about having personal space taken away. I put up with it for years growing up big time in a big way in the same exact way she was except I had 7 or 8 redneck kids doing it to me for several years.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:45pm
  107. What a wonderful story of abuse of authority. Is it any wonder why an entire generation (Generation X) chose to ignore authority?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:14pm
  108. she was trying to defend herself from the bullies, and the bullies should charged for harassing her

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:45pm
  109. The real story here is that the school administrators refused to do their job. I just saw this teen on CNN and she said that the school principal refused to protect her.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:48pm
  110. Sometimes you have to kick some ass, sorry.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:11pm
  111. No serious injuries were reported. It’s a school fight, and the school already punished them all with suspension. Do these things usually result in legal charges? Hopefully it is not institutional discrimination by law enforcement.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 6:36pm
  112. Awful

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:21pm
  113. Fuck you John Rambo. She was bullied beyond tolerance. Good for her and shame on the bullies that try to make her the guilty one.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:51pm
  114. If someone laid a finger on them I think the teen deserved to act in self-defense. BS charge.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 8:55pm
  115. NOT OK

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:30pm
  116. I wish there was a dislike button. dislike

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:40pm