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Trans Teen: Assistant Principal Confronted Me in Bathroom

West Virginia school administrator was suspended with pay
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2018 11:40 AM CST
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / lensmen)

(Newser) – A West Virginia assistant principal is under fire after allegations that he harassed a transgender student. Sophomore Michael Critchfield, 15, says he was in the boys' bathroom Nov. 27 when Lee Livengood confronted him and demanded he "come out here and use the urinal" to prove that he was male, the Daily Beast reports. Critchfield, who was assigned female at birth but identifies as male, says Livengood also blocked the door as he told him, "You freak me out" and asked him "what would happen if another boy thought Michael was checking him out," referring to the student using female pronouns as he did so. After three or four minutes of being "barricaded" in the bathroom, Critchfield says the mother of a band student came to see what was going on because people could hear Livengood yelling from the band room, ABC News reports.

Critchfield complained to the ACLU after, he says, school administrators failed to take action, and the ACLU got in touch with the school district. The Harrison County Schools superintendent suspended Livengood Tuesday, but only until the end of the semester, which is Friday. "While we are heartened to hear the administration admit to wrongdoing, a four-day paid suspension of an employee is not sufficient," the ACLU says. The superintendent has agreed to meet with ACLU officials after the holiday break, but he tells Metro News that while Livengood acted "inappropriately," "I don’t think more needs to be done." An ACLU official, however, tells the Daily Beast Critchfield had already been repeatedly misgendered by teachers at the school and in intercom announcements in which his female birth name is used. "I think that there's a cultural problem at the school," he says. (A 12-year-old transgender girl was threatened after using the girls' bathroom.)

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