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Texas School Places Teacher on Leave for Wearing Pink Dress in Viral Video

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A Texas school placed one of its teachers on administrative leave after he went viral for cross-dressing at school. The teacher’s video went viral after the “Libs of TikTok” X account posted a short video of him. The footage, posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, quickly sparked controversy.

The chemistry teacher, Rachmad Tjachyadi, who teaches at Hebron High School, appeared in an all-pink outfit on Valentine’s Day. In addition, Tjachyadi wore a pink cowboy hat ensemble and boots. The account also posted images of him allegedly wearing a tutu and a red dress at a prom event.

Shortly after the video went out, it sparked outrage. Many condemned the teacher, tagging him a “groomer.” “There’s no place for this nonsense in schools,” one person commented on the viral video on X. “Dress professionally at work and play dress up on your own time.”

However, students jumped to his defense, saying the teacher had created a “safe space” for them. On Thursday, February 15, 2024, an online petition calling for Tjachyadi’s reinstatement surfaced. It gathered nearly 6,000 of its 7,500 signature goals as of Saturday afternoon.

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ALSO READ: Court Orders California School District to Reinstate Christian Teachers Amid Gender Policy Lawsuits

“He is a great teacher,” the petition, created by student Julia Ngo, stated. “He explains chemistry well and has created a fun and safe environment for his students.” The petition continued, “He is in no way a pedophile or publicizing a ‘fetish.”

Furthermore, the petition noted that “many students in his class encouraged him to wear the dress.” Ngo also wrote that the incident “frustrated and disappointed” the students. In addition, the student said it would be a “great loss” to lose Tjachyadi as a teacher.

Regardless, the Lewisville Independent School District notified parents of the issue. The district emailed them that they put Tjachyadi on administrative leave as they reviewed the situation. “It is important to me to keep you informed of situations that impact our campus,” Principal Amy Boughton wrote.

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“Even if your student is not directly involved.” Boughton added, “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,” Boughton’s email continued. “And we have placed the staff member on administrative leave while the district reviews the situation, which is standard procedure.” Furthermore, the school principal noted that she understood the outrage and that the matter was under review.

ALSO READ: Judge Reinstates Christian Teachers Placed on Leave for Refusing to Conceal Child’s Gender Issues From Parents

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“It would be natural for our families to have questions about this situation,” the email read. “But because this is a personnel matter currently under review, there is no additional information the district can share.”

Following the outrage and Tjachyadi’s subsequent dismissal, a “queer archive” called The Forward/Slash Project spotlighted a collaboration with him. According to the group, Tjachyadi has been teaching for about 20 years and has frequently worn dresses at school.

“His goal as an educator is not only to educate the students in science,” The Forward/Slash Project wrote. “But also to be an out LGBTQ+ role model in a professional setting.” In addition, the “queer archive” noted that the teacher wore female dresses to show off his feminine side.

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