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West Virginia Assistant Principal Loses Job After Harassing Trans Kid

West Virginia assistant principal loses job after harassing transgender student.

“It was a very traumatizing experience,” 15-year-old Michael Critchfield told Out in December.

The West Virginia assistant principal who harassed one of his trans students has lost his job.

Harrison County's Board of Education voted not to renew Lee Livengood's contract beyond the 2019 school year, the Associated Press reports.

It is publicly unknown whether his targeted harassment of a trans Liberty High School student has anything to do with his termination. "I would not suggest that there's any correlation," superintendent Mark Manchin told The Charleston Gazette-Mail. But the decision comes only a few months after he made headlines for following 15-year-old Michael Critchfield into a school restroom, demanding that Critchfield use a urinal to "prove" his gender, and telling the student "You freak me out."

"It was a very traumatizing experience," Critchfield toldOut executive editor Raquel Willis in an interview last December. "No one should experience a situation like this no matter their identity. Schools should be safe environment for all students."

While Livengood's dismissal will make Liberty High School safer for Critchfield, says the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, a group that has advocated on behalf of the boy's family in the past, the Harrison County Board of Education will have to do a lot more than that to make their schools safe spaces for trans students.

"We're glad to see Harrison County Schools taking accountability for what happened in the bathroom that day," wrote ACLU-WV legal director Loree Stark in a statement to the Gazette, "[but] 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."

For example, the Board doesn't allow trans students to use school restrooms that match their gender identity. They can use a private restroom or the facility that matches their birth sex, Manchin told the Gazette.

"Anything less would be unacceptable," Stark wrote.

RELATED | Trans Teen Michael Critchfield Speaks Out After Harassment at School

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