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Note: the following is an archival post of my recent piece at Autostraddle.
Most people would hope that when extreme bullying occurs and is brought to the attention of authorities, the bullies in question will be punished. The opposite happened to Jewelyes Gutierrez; when she was “tormented and harassed” by other students because of her trans status, she was charged with misdemeanor battery for defending herself.
Given that the incident arose in response to intense, ongoing bullying, observers had already widely questioned the decision by Contra Costa County District Attorney Dan Cabral to charge a 16-year old transgender high school student with a misdemeanor count of battery following a schoolyard altercation between her and three other students. However, it now appears that trans teen Jewelyes Gutierrez may be able to avoid charges after all, as she enters restorative justice, a court-ordered conflict resolution program.
Jewelyes, a Hercules High School student and a young trans woman of color, had been facing ongoing harassment and bullying at school from a group of cisgender girls; when she went to the school administration to report the situation was becoming intolerable, nothing happened. Finally, one day one of these girls assaulted Jewelyes by throwing used chewing gum in her face; Jewelyes had had it, she fought back, although she ended up being ganged up on by three other girls in the fight.
Earlier this week, the anti-LGBT, anti-family organization Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) brought it’s campaign against a young trans girl in Colorado to an all new low. Readers will recall that PJI had previously made false accusations in the media that a trans girl (we’ll refer to her as Jane Doe) at a Colorado high school had supposedly committed harassment against cis girls in her school’s bathroom. When confronted with the facts that this never happened, PJI simply changed it’s story to claim that the young trans girl was committing harassment simply by being in the bathroom at all.
The campaign of public abuse has been so intense that it was recently reported that Jane Doe is now on suicide watch.
However, a couple days ago the organization upped the ante on its public campaign against a trans child by releasing a sensationalistic video interviewing the other schoolgirls that Jane Doe had supposedly harassed. Of course, no actual incident of harassment is described any where in the video because none ever occurred. Instead the video sensationalizes in an attempt to manipulate the emotions of the viewer, complete with foreboding background music (seriously?!) in their attempt to portray a teenage girl as a monster.
Please click here and report the video for what it is: abuse.
And of course, in their endless cynicism, PJI actually goes so far as to include a fundraising link on their video bullying a teenager: