Assistant principal who bullied trans student in bathroom gets job back

Trans student Michael Critchfield

An assistant principal in West Virginia has gotten his job back after the school board initially decided not to renew his contract following an accusation of bullying a transgender student.

The Harrison County Board of Education voted on Monday (29 April) to reinstate Lee Livengood. Last month they decided not to renew his contract following a three-year probationary period.

County Schools Superintendent Mark Manchin described the decision as ‘difficult’ and came after ‘a  lot of discussion’.

Michael Critchfield, 15, a sophomore at Liberty High School, first reported the story of Livengood bullying him in December.

Critchfield was preparing for an after-school marching band trip on 27 November when he decided to use the restroom before the 45-minute bus ride.

According to reports, he made a habit of checking the boys bathroom to make sure it was empty before using it. Seeing it was empty, he stepped inside. Then Livengood entered and allegedly began harassing him, telling Critchfield he ‘shouldn’t be here’.

Critchfield described it as ‘terrifying’ and ‘traumatizing’.

What happened next

Over 1,100 people signed a petition demanding the board take action.

Critchfield and his family began working with the ACLU’s West Virginia chapter. At the time, Livengood had only been ‘suspended with pay’.

The ACLU published an apology letter written by Livengood consisting of two sentences. All he apologized for was raising his voice.

‘That Mr. Livengood — and any individual or entity that approved his apology — believes that the only problematic behavior that occurred that day was a raised voice is deeply troubling,’ ACLU-West Virginia legal director Loree Stark commented.

Then the school board voted not to renew the contract.

ACLU says the work isn’t done

At the time of the contract termination, the ACLU released a statement saying the work wasn’t done. They released another statement yesterday at the news of Livengood’s reinstatement.

‘We want to reaffirm our demand that Mr. Livengood not be allowed any contact with Michael or any children,’ they wrote. ‘Mr. Livengood has demonstrated he is incapable of conducting himself in a professional manner in any environment with students.’

They added Livengood has also ‘shown a troubling lack of remorse’.

‘We will be actively monitoring the situation to ensure Michael and the students of Harrison County are protected moving forward,’ the statement concluded.

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Author: Anya Crittenton

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That vice principal who tried to make a trans student pee in front of him got his job back

People protesting and a sign says "PROTECT TRANS KIDS"The vice principal won his appeal to get back to his job, even though he has “shown a troubling lack of remorse.”

Author: Alex Bollinger

The post That vice principal who tried to make a trans student pee in front of him got his job back appeared first on LGBTQ Nation.

Assistant principal who bullied trans student in bathroom loses job

Trans student Michael Critchfield

An assistant principal in West Virginia has lost his job after he reportedly followed a transgender student into a bathroom and bullied him.

Michael Critchfield, 15, is a sophomore at Liberty High School in the Harrison County School District of West Virginia.

He first reported the story of Lee Livengood, one of two assistant principals at the school, bullying him in December.

Critchfield was preparing for an after-school marching band trip on 27 November when he decided to use the restroom before the 45-minute bus ride.

According to reports, he made a habit of checking the boys bathroom to make sure it was empty before using it. Seeing it was empty, he stepped inside. Then Livengood entered and allegedly began harassing him, telling Critchfield he ‘shouldn’t be here’.

Critchfield described it as ‘terrifying’ and ‘traumatizing’.

He and his family began working with the ACLU’s West Virginia chapter. At the time, Livengood only been ‘suspended with pay’ by the Harrison County School District.

On Tuesday (19 March), the school board unanimously voted to terminate Livengood’s contract when the school year ends. His last day of employment will be 30 June.

The details

Over 1,100 people signed a petition demanding the board take action.

‘It’s not uncommon at all,’ said County schools Superintendent Mark Manchin of the termination. ‘There’s no other reason other than the fact that we just desire not to have him continue as an employee of the Harrison County Board of Education.’

The ACLU is still involved and doesn’t believe the work is done.

They published an apology letter from Livengood to Critchfield. It only consisted of two sentences.

Lee Livengood's letter to the student

Lee Livengood’s letter to the student | Photo: ACLU

ACLU-West Virginia legal director Loree Stark did not approve of the letter.

‘That Mr. Livengood — and any individual or entity that approved his apology — believes that the only problematic behavior that occurred that day was a raised voice is deeply troubling,’ he said.

He also said the ACLU was ‘glad to see Harrison County Schools taking accountability for what happened’, but that more needs to be done.

‘We expect talks to resume regarding the implementation of best practice trans-inclusive policies that will better protect LGBTQ students and create a safer learning environment for Michael moving forward,’ continued Stark.

‘Anything less would be unacceptable.’

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Author: Anya Crittenton

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