Saving Mr. T
A high school teacher in Carrollton was placed on administrative leave on February 14 by Lewisville ISD, after a video was posted online of him wearing a pink dress, hat, and boots for a school spirit day.
Rachmad Tjachyadi, a science teacher at Hebron High School who is also a major supporter of the Dallas-Fort Worth theater scene, drew the attention of a conservative @libsoftiktok account on X (formerly Twitter).
They posted the video with a caption that included, "I’m told he also sometimes shows up to teach dressed in full drag and has a f*tish for wearing women’s clothing. How is this acceptable?!" and "This is a grown ass man."
The next day, Hebron principal Amy Boughton sent an email to the parents of all students that read:
It is important to me to keep you informed of situations that impact our campus, even if your student is not directly involved.
You may have seen a video circulating on social media expressing concerns with the way a staff member was dressed at school yesterday.
We are aware of the video, and the staff member has been placed on administrative leave while the district reviews the situation, which is standard procedure. It would be natural for our families to have questions about this situation, but because this is a personnel matter currently under review, there is no additional information the district can share.
Thank you for your support of our campus.
In response, a change.org petition was started on February 15 by Julia Ngo, who wrote:
Recently, Mr. Tjachyadi was put on blast on twitter for wearing a pink dress for a spirit day. He is being called a pedophile, among other names, however, this is NOT the case and he is beloved by many students at Hebron. He is a great teacher, he explains chemistry very well and has created a very fun and safe environment for his students. He does not deserve to be defamed and lose his job. He has been an inspiration to many students, and has created a space where everyone can feel valued and safe. He is in no way a pedophile or publicizing a "fetish". In fact, many students in his class encouraged him to wear the dress in the first place. He has pushed many students to become better and shows genuine care for his students. The recent decision to place him on probation has left our community frustrated and disappointed. It would be a great loss for Hebron High School to lose a teacher like Mr. Tjachyadi. Free my boy Mr.T.
The petition currently has more than 13,000 signatures, and many comments in his defense, calling him a hard-working and dedicated teacher who cares about his students.
"Mr. T has done so much to create a safe space for students at this school and is one of the best teachers I've ever had," said one comment. "He doesn't deserve any of this name-calling/hate because he dressed up for a literal school dress-up day lol."
"I'm so mad that he gets punished for the crime of looking fabulous," wrote another.