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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.
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Salma Hayek (mom to Valentina): “When Valentina was not even 1 month old, my aunt [gave me the best advice]: ‘Put her to sleep yourself every night. Sing to her and cradle her in your arms and sit by her side - every night. Because one day you won’t be able to, and it’s going to happen really fast.”
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 https://t.co/jWao3nXzsy— ACLU of WV (@ACLU_WV)
Is There Such a Thing As "School"?
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.”
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'
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.
Gossip about your kids. Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective by letting your child "catch" you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.
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