Petition to Drop Charges Against Transgendered Hercules Student is Fatest Growing in California

It's becoming the fastest growing petition in California, and one of the fastest growing on Change.org.

Hercules High School junior Jewlyes Gutierrez (second from left) with her family. (Photo Credit: Valerie Poquiz, Change.org petition)
Hercules High School junior Jewlyes Gutierrez (second from left) with her family. (Photo Credit: Valerie Poquiz, Change.org petition)
One of the fastest growing Change.org petition has received more than 65,000 signatures in the last day urging Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Daniel J. Cabral to drop a misdemeanor battery charge against 16-year-old Hercules High School junior Jewlyes Gutierrez.

Gutierrez, a transgender teen and long-time, got into a fight with three classmates after facing ongoing bullying at school about her gender identity.

The Change.org petition, started by Jewlyes’ older sister Valerie Poquiz, a student at UC Davis, has collected more than 120,000 total signatures (19,630 from California) since it was launched last Wednesday, making it the fastest growing petition in California and one of the fastest growing petitions on Change.org right now

"Jewlyes defended herself against three girls who were tormenting and then physically attacked her," Poquiz said on the online petition. "This was captured on video and you can see Jewlyes trying to run away. The students involved were suspended but to our disbelief, District Attorney Daniel Cabral then filed charges against Jewlyes for battery--she's the only one charged."

Charles Ramsey, the school district's board president, has also publicly disagreed with Cabral’s decision to bring a charge against Gutierrez, telling the Contra Costa Times that the incident had already been properly handled by the school.

"People are talking about this," he said. "It doesn't seem to be fair. You're prosecuting a victim here? It seems like this is really a school issue. They took care of it at the school site."

Valerie’s petition has also garnered the support of the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

Pinole-Hercules Patch will continue to monitor story. You can read more about it here.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Autumn Johnson (Editor) February 07, 2014 at 07:43 PM
Bullied Transgender Teen Facing Criminal Charges Allowed to Attend Conflict Resolution http://pinole-hercules.patch.com/groups/schools/p/court-offers-bullied-transgender-teen-facing-criminal-charges-to-participate-in-conflict-resolution-program


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