SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A California transgendered boy who made national headlines this winter after an altercation at school for which he was charged with battery is being honored as one of four Community Grand Marshals at the 44th Annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Pride Parade and Celebration.
According to a press release from the parade’s organizers, 16-year old Jewlyes Gutierrez “was chosen by public vote as a Community Marshal.” Gutierrez was ordered to participate in a restorative justice program in February after striking a female student he says was harassing him.
All four participants in the altercation were initially suspended, but one girl filed charges against Gutierrez. The 16-year old boy says he was spat on and otherwise harassed for months, and struck the girl who filed the charges only after she threw gum at him. The scene, which was caught on video, showed the struck girl and her two female friends chasing Gutierrez and pulling his hair after he threw the strike.
All charges were dropped against Gutierrez after he completed the program, which included counseling, mediation, and conflict resolution. Police and school officials concluded that no “hate crime” was committed against Gutierrez, and the conflict centered around traditional teenage issues.
Gutierrez's situation became a flashpoint for transgender advocates, who said the school should have acted sooner. Gutierrez and his sister say they reported bullying and harassment to school officials, but no action was taken.