School official who allegedly told transgender teen 'You freak me out' faces penalty

Share This Story!

Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about

LinkedIn Pinterest

School official who allegedly told transgender teen 'You freak me out' faces penalty

A W.V. school board will determine the fate of an assistant principal who allegedly told a transgender teen to "prove" he was a boy in a bathroom.

Loading… Post to Facebook


A link has been sent to your friend's email address.


A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

Join the Nation's Conversation

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

This conversation is moderated according to USA TODAY's community rules. Please read the rules before joining the discussion.

  • Parenting
  • Money
  • Health-Safety

Read books together every day. Get started when he's a newborn; babies love listening to the sound of their parents' voices. Cuddling up with your child and a book is a great bonding experience that will set him up for a lifetime of reading.

Sonja Haller, USA TODAY Published 1:37 p.m. ET Jan. 8, 2019 | Updated 2:42 p.m. ET Jan. 8, 2019
facebook share twitter share email share email share

A West Virginia assistant principal who allegedly told a transgender teen to "prove" he was a boy in a bathroom faces suspension.

A school board will meet today to consider whether Liberty High School Assistant Principal Lee Livengood will be suspended indefinitely without pay, according to the Associated Press .

The incident occurred Nov. 27. Livengood was suspended with pay last month from the Clarksburg school. The suspension ran through the end of the semester, when the holiday break began, AP reported .

The bathroom confrontation

“Michael is not alone. There are lots of trans kids in West Virginia. We’ve got to improve the way they’re being treated. We’ve got to make school a place where they can learn, a place where they can feel safe. It’s a matter of life and death.” - #ACLUWV


In late November, the school official allegedly confronted 15-year-old Michael Critchfield after he stepped out of a school boys bathroom stall, the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia said.

An ACLU statement said Livengood challenged him "to use the urinal to prove that he was a boy."

The Charleston Gazette-Mail said Michael went to the restroom before going on a band trip and that other students heard Livengood shouting and notified a trip chaperone.

“A chaperone found out he had me barricaded in the bathroom. By the time she came, I was breaking down and had quivering lips. She kept asking me what was wrong and I just kept pushing it off, because she wouldn’t be able to understand with me crying or it just wouldn’t come out right.”

Fess up when you blow it. This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.

Before their encounter ended, Livengood told Critchfield, “I’m not going to lie, you kind of freak me out,” according to a letter the ACLU wrote to the superintendent.

'Handled it incorrectly'

We’re proud to work with Michael and help tell his story to fight for a safer space for transgender students at his school and across #WV .


Harrison County’s schools superintendent Mark Manchin told the Charleston Gazette-Mail what happened to Critchfield in the bathroom was wrong.

"The consensus was (Livengood) handled it incorrectly and he was contrite and apologetic," Manchin said. "He did confront him in the restroom, that’s not in question. Inappropriately, by the way, and we recognize that and we’re addressing that."

Manchin has recommended to the school board that Livengood be suspended indefinitely without pay.

Harrison County Board of Education President Frank Devono said sensitivity training will be implemented across the county regardless of what happens to Livengood.

The teen's mother, Caroline Critchfield, said she was outraged.

“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 phobia. Not cause discrimination against him. What is this teaching our students?” she told the AP.

AP contributed to this report.

Try to avoid thinking that you can save your children from getting hurt (emotionally or physically). Instead, prepare them to cope.

Like All the Moms?

Connect with us on .


  • Dad learns 3 sons can't be his after devastating diagnosis. Mom must pay $400K for the lie
  • Woman grows up to reject parents' anti-vaxxer belief, shares viral pic of shot record
  • New York law requires changing tables in public men's bathrooms
  • School district sics debt collectors on parents for unpaid lunch fees
facebook share twitter share email share email share Read or Share this story: