ACLU lawsuit against Livengood, Harrison BOE dismissed in transgender student incident

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A lawsuit filed against the Harrison County Board of Education, stemming from an incident in December of 2018, has been dismissed.

According to the Harrison County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mark Manchin, the lawsuit filed against Liberty High School Assistant Principal Lee Livengood and the Harrison County Board of Education was dismissed by Harrison County Circuit Judge Christopher McCarthy earlier this week due to him finding that there was “no merit” for the suit to continue.

The lawsuit surrounded a confrontation between Livengood and a then 15-year-old transgender student.

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The suit was dismissed “without merit,” which means the dismissal cannot be appealed by any court except for that of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, Manchin said.

McCarthy went on to say that since Livengood’s were the actions of an individual and not as an extension of the Board of Education, the board was not liable for his acts even if McCarthy would have felt the suit had merit for further pursuit, according to Manchin.

In response to the dismissal of their lawsuit, the West Virginia ACLU’s legal director, Loree Stark, released a statement which said, “We are disappointed in the court’s decision, however, this is largely a procedural ruling and did not address the underlying allegations in the case. We are currently exploring our options going forward, but we are not done fighting for justice in this matter.”

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