Lee Livengood, an assistant principal at Liberty High School in Clarksburg, West Virginia, has been accused of harassing a transgender student at the school.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, on Tuesday, November 27, Livengood allegedly accosted a transgender male student over his choice of bathrooms and reportedly said: “Not going to lie, you freak me out.” Additionally, Livengood allegedly challenged the student to “use a urinal to prove that he was male.”
The student, who has since been identified as fifteen-year-old student Michael Critchfield, told Fox News that he was “traumatized” by the incident. Critchfield is a sophomore at Liberty High School.
ACLU-WV Executive Director Joseph Cohen has since called Livengood’s actions “reprehensible”, especially considering that Livengood is an authority figure at the school.
via Fox News:
According to Critchfield, the school’s band was preparing to take an afterschool bus trip to Morgantown to watch a performance at West Virginia University. Critchfield said he went to the bathroom and checked to see if anyone was standing at a urinal before he went into a stall.
Livengood then opened the bathroom door and asked if any students were in the stall. Critchfield replied, and when he left the stall, Livengood was standing in the bathroom doorway and blocked Critchfield from leaving. Critchfield recalled Livengood repeatedly yelling, “Why are you in here? You shouldn’t be in here.”
Critchfield replied it was his legal right to use that bathroom. He said Livengood used improper pronouns when referring to Critchfield and challenged him to use a urinal to prove that he was a boy. According to Critchfield, Livengood then said, “Not going to lie. You freak me out.”
Dr. Mark Manchin, the Harrison County Schools superintendent, has since released a brief statement in response to the alleged incident:
“The preliminary information I have received does appear from what I’ve been able to confirm is that our employee did not act in an appropriate manner, and was not sensitive to the needs of one of our students,” Manchin said.
At this time, it is not known whether or not Livengood is still working at Liberty High School.