Transgender Student Says She Wasn’t Allowed to Walk in High School Graduation

iStock/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) -- A transgender student says she wasn't allowed to walk at her high school graduation as a female, so she elected to skip the ceremony altogether.

Jennea Purcell, 18, says she was barred from participating in the graduation ceremony at Kahuku High & Intermediate School in Honolulu after transitioning from male to female, telling ABC News affiliate KITV that she transitioned from "Jackson" to "Jennea" while in school.

“I was full-time female. I dressed like a female," Purcell told KITV. "I played the role as a female as far as the bathroom goes, yes, anything the females did, I was doing.”

Traditionally, graduating girls at Kahuku wear white gowns and boys wear red. Purcell told KITV she wanted to wear the white gown and that's when things got complicated.

“When I talked to Pauline Masaniai [the principal of Kahuku], she was telling me that my choice is the male's choice and that’s the only option I have.”

Masaniai denies Purcell's allegations, telling ABC News, "She was not barred because of being transgendered. She was not barred because of the color of gown she wanted to wear. That was already approved."

Purcell did not participate in the graduation ceremony because of other reasons, according to Donalyn Dela Cruz, Communications Director of the Hawaii State Department of Education. She did not elaborate on the reasons.

"There has been no incident in which a student has been 'barred' from participating in commencement exercises based on gender identity," Dela Cruz told ABC News in a written statement. "Hawaii State Board of Education Policy 4540 states students shall be permitted to participate in commencement exercises if they:(1) meet the requirements for a diploma or a certificate; (2) have fulfilled their financial obligations; and (3) meet other conditions established by the Department of Education, which meet the standards of clarity, reasonableness, and justifiability."

Purcell admitted to KITV she struggled academically in her final year of school, but believed that she was on track to graduate.

Purcell is sticking to her story and says she plans to share it with the world through filmmakers with the Kumu Hina film project, according to KITV.

She's also started a petition on change.org, challenging the Hawaii DOE to implement reforms.

“My intention in making this film and having the petition is just to make sure that no other child, even if they’re not transgender or part of the LGBT community, doesn’t have to go through something like this. It's not okay,” Purcell told KITV.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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