Texas Teacher Resigns Over Shocking Cross-Dressing Incident

Marco Brockmann / shutterstock.com
Marco Brockmann / shutterstock.com

In a move that has stirred local and national attention, Rachmad Tjachyadi, a chemistry teacher at Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas, resigned following a viral incident in which he appeared at school wearing women’s clothing.

The incident occurred during a school spirit event in February when Tjachyadi, known as “Mr. T” to his students, was captured on video wearing a pink dress, matching boots, and hat while walking the school halls. The video quickly gained traction on social media, sparking debate and controversy.

Following the incident, officials from the Lewisville Independent School District (ISD) placed Tjachyadi on administrative leave pending an investigation. Despite the investigation finding no violation of school policies, according to CBS News Texas, Tjachyadi has chosen to resign from his position.

In his resignation letter, Tjachyadi cited external negativity as a significant factor in his decision, stating, “It has been challenging to watch the negative external commentary about me and our campus.” He expressed gratitude for the support shown by colleagues, students, and the school district. Still, he emphasized the importance of maintaining focus on students’ well-being.

The resignation comes amid calls for Tjachyadi’s reinstatement by a group of trans advocates based in Dallas. The advocates disrupted a Lewisville ISD School Board meeting on March 4, demanding that the school “reject hate and reinstate” Tjachyadi. Chanting, “Lewisville must reinstate! Lead with love, not with hate!” the protesters voiced their support for the embattled teacher.

The controversy surrounding Tjachyadi extends beyond the attire incident, with reports indicating his involvement in advocating for the school’s LGBT club. In a Facebook comment from February 2022, Tjachyadi sought assistance in teaching members of Hebron High School’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), referring to them as “baby gays” to dance suggestively or “vogue.”

Tjachyadi’s involvement with the GSA, as evidenced by posts on the group’s Instagram page, and participation in initiatives like the “Forward Slash Project,” a “queer archive” endeavor, have further fueled debate over his actions and the appropriateness of his role as an educator.

Despite the resignation, the controversy surrounding Tjachyadi continues to spark discussions about the boundaries of personal expression in educational settings and the role of educators in promoting inclusivity and diversity.

The Lewisville ISD has yet to issue an official statement regarding Tjachyadi’s resignation or the ongoing controversy, leaving many questions unanswered as the community grapples with the aftermath of this divisive incident.

Just last month, a similar incident unfolded. Shane Murnan, a former educator with two decades of experience, recently resigned as principal of John Glenn Elementary School in Oklahoma City’s Western Heights School District amidst a controversy surrounding his past as a drag performer.

Murnan’s troubles began when an anonymous newsletter exposed his drag persona and past criminal charges at the start of the fall 2023 semester. This revelation led to public scrutiny and calls for his dismissal, including from Oklahoma’s state superintendent, Ryan Walters, and subsequent bomb threats against Murnan and the district.

Despite initially backing Murnan, the district eventually pressured him to resign due to security concerns and financial burdens associated with increased security measures. Murnan refused to sign an agreement, preventing him from speaking publicly about the controversy and leading to his resignation.

Walters, known for targeting educators over ideological differences, hailed Murnan’s resignation as a victory for Oklahoma schools and proposed regulations aimed at making it easier to dismiss educators engaged in activities deemed to “excessively promote sexuality” outside of work.

Murnan’s case has reignited debates about the boundaries of personal expression and political agendas in the education system. Community members have rallied in support of him and raised concerns about the prioritization of politics over the well-being of students.

While acknowledging his past as a drag performer, Murnan insists that his side job never interfered with his professional duties and expresses disillusionment with the politicization of education in Oklahoma.