Principal Accused of Harassing Trans Student Just Got His Job Back

Just over a month ago, we were celebrating because a West Virginia school’s assistant principal accused of harassing a student in the bathroom did not have his contract renewed and no longer would be in a position of power over children.

Unfortunately, he recently won an appeal with the Harrison County Board of Education to get his job back.

If you aren’t up to date on the original story, here’s what happened. Sophomore Michael Critchfield went to use the restroom that corresponds with his male gender identity before departing for a band event.

Critchfield made sure nobody else was in the bathroom before using the facilities. He went into a stall, which is when he said he heard Assistant Principal Lee Livengood call out and ask whether anyone was there.

Critchfield responded that he was. And when he exited the stall, the torment ensued.

“He kept asking me why I was in there,” Critchfield told MetroNews. “(He said) I shouldn’t be in there because I am not a guy, and I told him I am a boy, I identify with this bathroom, and it is my legal right to use this restroom.”

Critchfield said Livengood physically blocked the exit and began mocking him. And he challenged Critchfield to use the urinal to “prove” he was a boy.

Eventually, one of the band moms who heard the assistant principal yelling interceded in the situation, forcing Livengood to depart.

The assistant principal’s parting words? In front of all the students and parents, Critchfield said Livengood told him: “Not going to lie. You freak me out.”

After this horrific event, grassroots activists at Care2 and across the internet leaped into action. We mobilized a petition demanding that Livengood be removed from his position as an assistant principal. Together we rallied over 60,000 people to stand up to this bully!

In response, at a Board of Education meeting in late March, it was announced that Livengood’s contract would not be renewed. It was a huge victory for the students at the school — and for people-powered activism.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last.

At a recent meeting, the Board of Education decided to renew Livengood’s contract after he appealed the original decision. Superintendent Mark Manchin said it was a “difficult decision” and “hopefully everything will be OK,” according to WVNews.

We can’t just hope everything will be OK. We have to demand protection for students in Livengood’s school. Will you sign our re-activated petition to have Lee Livengood removed as an authority over these kids?

TAKE ACTION

We can’t give up! Will you stand up for the students who have to answer to this bully by demanding that the board remove him from school? Please sign our petition now!

If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You‘ll find Care2‘s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.
 

Photo credit: Stratol/Getty Images

32 comments

Richard E Cooley

WTH! Thank you.

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Sue H
Sue H8 days ago

Shame on Harrison County Board of "Education"!! This sick SOB should not be allowed anywhere near students.

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pam w
pam w11 days ago

Challenged him to use the urinal? Why? Was he hoping to see a penis? SICK!

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Karen H
Karen H13 days ago

The principal told a student to use a urinal in his presence, which means he wants a student to be exposed. That should qualify as some sort of sexual harassment. And the School Board stating "hopefully everything will be OK" shows their ignorance. Sexual conversion therapy doesn't work - neither does ignorance conversion wishful thinking.

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Susanne R
Susanne R13 days ago

If Care2 Stands Against: bigots, bullies, science deniers, misogynists, gun lobbyists, xenophobes, the willfully ignorant, animal abusers, frackers, and other mean people, why haven't "Sierra's" comments been removed? I have flagged them three or four times. Will other members please join me in flagging them?

THANK YOU!

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Sabrina Degasperi

I signed the petition on December, the 20th.

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn13 days ago

OMG !

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Susanne R
Susanne R13 days ago

Has anyone else flagged the vulgar comments that appear on this thread? If you haven't, I hope you will.

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Anne Moran
Anne Moran14 days ago

Smells like bullying to me,, and this adult should be ashamed of himself for bullying a student who is much younger than him.. - He should be teaching tolerance,, rather than harassing Micheal, who probably has to deal with harassment by the rest of the student body... - Livengood is not fit to be a principal...

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Debbi W
Debbi W14 days ago

Livengood is a bigoted S.O.B., who should not be allowed to work anywhere near students. Petition previously signed. That school board needs to be replaced. They sound like homophobs, too, with no understanding of sexual identity.

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