A West Virginia Assistant Principal may be indefinitely suspended for allegedly harassing a 15-year-old transgender boy while he used the boys’ bathroom.
Michael Critchfield claims Lee Livengood gave him a hard time while he was trying to use the boys’ bathroom at Liberty High School on November 27th, 2018. According to Critchfield, Livengood came in the bathroom and asked if any students were in the stall. Critchfield said he was, left the stall, and said Livengood was standing in front of the exit in an attempt to block him in. The student says he was “barricaded in” while the assistant principal demanded to know why he was using that boys’ bathroom.
The student replied that it was his legal right because he identifies as a male and the official used improper pronouns while asking him to use a urinal to prove he was a boy, per the student.
“[Livengood] kept raising his voice and saying, ‘why are you in this bathroom? You shouldn’t be here’,” Michael told the Huffington Post.
“Come out here and use the urinal,”Livengood allegedly challenged.
“If you can’t use the urinal, then you shouldn’t be in here”.
“What if a student said you were checking them out in here?”
Livengood later said:
“I’m not going to lie: you freak me out”.
Critfield says the incident made him feel “degraded and discriminated against”.
“Kids like me should never have to go through anything like this. At the end of the day all I wanted was to feel welcome.”
Critchfield told The Charleston Gazette-Mail:
“A chaperone found out he had me barricaded in the bathroom. By the time she came, I was breaking down and had quivering lips.”
Critchfield’s mother, Caroline, was not happy about the alleged altercation.
“As a parent, that is my child that you are talking to. His job was to provide safety, to protect my son while he was in school.”
“Not bully. Not badger. Not to humiliate. Not to tear someone down. Not cause a phobia. Not cause discrimination against him. What is this teaching our students?”
Livengood was suspended with pay last month and Harrison County Board of Education President Frank Devono says the board plans to meet on Tuesday night to discuss Livengood’s future with the school. He also says countrywide sensitivity training centered on transgender rights will be implemented in the coming weeks.
Within a press release, Critchfield said:
“Mr. Livengood’s behavior in the bathroom that day was terrifying, and no student deserves that kind of treatment.”
“I’m telling my story so that high school doesn’t have to be a scary place for kids like me.”
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