News (USA)

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"
Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Vice principal Lee Livengood is back on the job after he demanded a transgender teenager pee in front of him late last year.

The Harrison County Board of Education in West Virginia voted to reinstate Livengood after he appealed a decision to remove him. The ACLU of West Virginia, though, is worried that the board hasn’t taken the necessary steps to ensure that a similar incident will not happen again.

Last month, the same board voted not to renew his contract for next year after its three-year probationary period ends. The board did not say that their decision to not renew his contract was at all related to the incident with the transgender student.

Superintendent Mark Manchin said that “a lot of discussion” took place before the board voted to reinstated Livengood at yesterday’s meeting.

Related: School officials caught on video busting into bathroom stall with trans girl inside

Last year, student Michael Critchfield, 15, said that he was using the boys’ room after school hours when Livengood went into the bathroom to berate him.

Critchfield, who is trans, said that Livengood blocked the exit and said, “Why are you in this bathroom? You shouldn’t be here.”

Livengood allegedly told the teen to “come out here and use the urinal” to prove that he should be in the boys’ room and, when another adult intervened, said, “I’m not going to lie, you freak me out.”

Critchfield’s family tried to discuss the incident with the school, to get disciplinary action taken against Livengood and a change in the school’s policies for transgender students as well as better training for faculty and staff, but the school refused to even talk with them. So they took their story public and Livengood was suspended for a month.

He was reportedly back on the job in January, and the ACLU of West Virginia said that the school district wasn’t taking any of the steps that it said it would to address the situation.

Livengood was also supposed to apologize to Critchfield, but instead sent a short note that read: “I’m deeply sorry for raising my voice while in the bathroom on 11/27/18. I promise it won’t happen again.”

The ACLU of West Virginia said that Livengood “shown a troubling lack of remorse for his actions.”

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