Assault Charges Dropped Against Transgender Teen Involved in Hercules HS Fight

A transgender teen charged with assault after a fight has been cleared.

A transgender student arrested after a fight at her Bay Area high school will not face charges.

The district attorney decided to drop the battery charge after 16-year-old Jewlyes Gutierrez completed a conflict resolution class.

The Hercules High School student was involved in a fight last year with girls who were bullying her for being transgender.

"As I was telling her how she was being disrespectful and rude, she spits gum in her hand and throws it in my face," Gutierrez said at a school district safety meeting earlier this year. "It was just build-up, after build-up, after build-up and no one was there to really help me."

Jewlyes and the three girls were suspended.

The November fight in the schoolyard, captured on video, prompted a nationwide outcry as well as scrutiny on the school district -- which was found to have widespread bullying and sexual harassment.

In January, Jewelyes told NBC Bay Area she felt she didn't have a choice last month when she was confronted by her attackers.

"I was just sticking up for myself," she said. "Because you're different, you'll get picked on, you'll get name calling, bullied, taunted, harassed -- all those."

Gutierrez completed a "diversion" program assigned to her by a judge, "working out" her problems with one of her former enemies at school and completing the conflict resolution class.

She had been charged with battery following the fight, which police said she started by throwing the first punch.

Gutierrez says she reported bullying to an administrator days before the fight, but the bully was not punished.


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