HARRISON COUNTY, W. Va. - A West Virginia school board voted Tuesday to not renew the contract of an assistant principal accused of following a transgender student into the boys' restroom to harass him.
The Harrison County Board of Education voted unanimously to not renew the contract for Lee Livengood, an assistant principal at Liberty High School. Livengood's employment will end on June 30, according to Superintendent Mark Manchin.
The allegations against Livengood came in December from the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. The assistant principal is accused of following Michael Critchfield, 15, into a boys' restroom to harass him.
“While Michael was still using the facilities in the stall, Mr. Livengood came into the restroom and began questioning Michael as to why he was using the restroom,” the ACLU said in a letter to Manchin. “Shockingly, Mr. Livengood then challenged Michael to ‘come out here and use the urinal,’ if he was really a boy.”
Livengood then allegedly told Critchfield, "I’m not going to lie. You freak me out.”
“The consensus was [Livengood] handled it incorrectly and he was contrite and apologetic,” Manchin said in December. “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.”
The ACLU's letter said that before Critchfield came to Liberty High School, he was told by the school that "he could not use the boys’ restroom and that he was expected to use the girls’ restroom.”
In a statement following the school board's decision, the ACLU said they are hoping to resume talks with the school district regarding the implementation of best practice trans-inclusive policies.
🚨BREAKING: Harrison County Board of Education votes to not renew Liberty High School Assistant Principal Lee Livengood’s employment contract. Below is a statement from #ACLUWV Legal Director Loree Stark. #JusticeforMichael pic.twitter.com/PWCSPolTzz — ACLU of WV (@ACLU_WV) March 20, 2019
Manchin told the Gazette-Mail that trangender students in the district are currently provided a private restroom, or they can use the restroom matching the sex on their birth certificate.
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