Jewlyes Gutierrez freed of battery charges

Last November Jewlyes Gutierrez, a transgender girl, was charged with battery for defending herself against bullies.

As of May 1, Judge Thomas Maddock dropped the midsmeanor charges after he determined that Jewlyes had successfully completed a conflict resolution program, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

These restorative practices have been going on around the country in various districts through GSA clubs. The campaign stemmed from Jewlyes Gutierrez' own case.

The case last November attracted a lot attention, including a petition with over 200,000 signatures, as well as highlighting the problems of bullying in the West Contra Costa school district.

Jewlyes had reported her bullies to the administration days before the fight, but the bullies were not punished.

Now, as part of the resolution program, she says she worked on the issue with one of the girls who bullied her, and they now have closure.

Some organizations that rallied to support Jewylyes during this time were the Transgender Law Center, RYSE Youth Center and Rainbow Community Center. 

Transgender Law Center reports on their blog:

Organizations such as the RYSE and Rainbow Community Center, where Gutierrez received services and support, employ and advocate restorative justice practices precisely for the results produced in this case – which facilitate individual and community healing and accountability, and work to protect young people of color, who have the highest inequitable rates of contact, from entry and engagement in the juvenile justice system.

"I can finally breathe. I can finally relax," she says. "Going to court is scary, you don't know what is going to happen. It was very nerve-racking."

 

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