A trans teen in Hawaii is pushing the state’s department of education for reforms after accusing her former high school principal of blocking her from being part of her graduation ceremony according to her gender identity, Towleroad reported.
Jennea Purcell first revealed her allegations against Kahuku High School Principal Pauline Masaniai in a video released on Wednesday, saying Masaniai did not let her wear a white gown to wear for the ceremony last year, as is customary for female students. Instead, Purcell was told she would have to wear a red gown, which is required for male students.
Purcell, now 18 years old, says in the video that Masaniai, who like her is a Mormon, would “give me little talks here and there about me being supposed to be a boy.”
The ceremony, held at Brigham Young University in Hawaii, features not only a traditional graduation ceremony, but a choreographed dance by the senior class.
“I decided not to go, because I felt like I was supposed to be up there,” Purcell says. “And if I’m not gonna be up there, I don’t want to walk.”
She later told KITV-TV that she did graduate on time from the school.
“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,” she said. “It’s not okay.”
The video is linked to a petition calling on the state board to implement a safety policy that covers trans students’ gender identity, and for Kahuku High to “act as a model school by publicly declaring that students may participate in graduation and other school activities consistent with their gender identity.”
A spokesperson for the Windward school district, which includes Kahuku High, said trans-inclusive policies are already a priority for the district. But Donalyn Dela Cruz also rejected Purcell’s allegations.
“The department’s been made aware of recently of these allegations,” Dela Cruz said. “We immediately took a look into them and we can confidently say these are false allegations.”
Watch KITV’s report, as aired on Thursday, below.
Purcell’s video, as posted online on Wednesday, can be seen here.
‘Clear and present racism’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika say Kellyanne Conway should have been ‘fired on the spot’ for slurring reporter
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were astonished by Kellyanne Conway's response to a reporter asking about President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four first-year lawmakers.
The White House senior adviser asked Breakfast Media White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg, who is Jewish, about his ethnicity after he asked Conway what countries Trump was telling the Democratic congresswomen to return.
"I won't draw any parallels with any fascist countries, but what happened yesterday in a press gaggle has nothing to do with the United States of America," Scarborough said, "and in any other administration over the past 240 years, a person that did what Kellyanne Conway did yesterday would have been fired on the spot. By the time she left the press gaggle and went back into the White House, they would have already packed up her belongings and would have told her leave by the back door and never talk to us again."
Elon Musk shows off progress on brain-machine interface
Futurist entrepreneur Elon Musk late Tuesday revealed his secretive Neuralink startup is making progress on an interface linking brains with computers, and said they hope to begin testing on people next year.
Musk has long contended that a neural lace meshing minds with machines is vital if people are going to avoid being so outpaced by artificial intelligence that, under the best of circumstances, humans would be akin to "house cats."
Musk and members of the Neuralink team laid out progress they have made on their mission at an event held in San Francisco to recruit talent in software, robotics, neuroscience and more.
Two Texas Republicans in Congress were outraised as national Democratic offensive kicks off in Texas
Two potentially vulnerable Texas Republicans in Congress were outraised — and a few others saw seriously funded challengers — as the first major fundraising deadline passed in a cycle where national Democrats have built an expansive battlefield here, targeting six seats.
In the second quarter, Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, fell short of Democratic challenger Sri Preston Kulkarni, $378,000 to $421,000. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, raised less than Democratic opponent Kim Olson, $225,000 to $279,000, before making a large loan to his campaign. And a few other GOP incumbents posted strong numbers — but so did Democrats running to unseat them, in a couple cases outpacing the officeholders after they entered the race mid-fundraising cycle.