CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and a Wheeling attorney filed a lawsuit on Wednesday on behalf of the parents of a transgender high school student regarding the treatment of said student by a Harrison County Schools official.
The lawsuit against the Harrison County Board of Education regards how the administrator treated Michael Critchfield, currently a junior at Liberty High School.
Michael previously said Liberty High School assistant principal Lee Livengood approached him while using a boys restroom before a November 2018 band trip.
According to the lawsuit and previous reports, Livengood “berated” Michael about using the restroom, challenging him to use a urinal and demanding Michael to “expose his private area.”
Michael and his parents met with the school’s administrators before his first year at Liberty High School about being referred to as a male and his chosen name.
The lawsuit also alleges Livengood intimated Michael after the incident, including repeatedly walking by Michael at a December basketball game.
Harrison County Superintendent Mark Manchin told MetroNews earlier this year the decision not to renew the contract was not connected to the alleged incident.
Teresa Torisea, an attorney with Toriseva Law in Wheeling, said what happened to Michael should not happen to anyone.
“We would not tolerate this kind of behavior from a student, and we certainly shouldn’t tolerate it from an assistant principal, and yet the Harrison County School Board has done just that,” she said.
Michael’s parents are seeking monetary damages, as well as an injunction preventing Livengood from further contact with Michael or his parents.