UPDATED: Rally still on even though Lewisville ISD board says ‘Mr. T’ supporters can’t speak at board meeting

dfwnewsa | March 5, 2024 | 0 | Dallas News

UPDATED: Rally still on even though Lewisville ISD board says ‘Mr. T’ supporters can’t speak at board meeting

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UPDATED: Stacey Monroe, director of the Trans Empowerment Coalition, is urging everyone to gather outside the Lewisville ISD board meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at 1565 W. Main St. in Lewisville to rally in support of Rachmad “Mr T.” Tjachyadi, even though the board has sent out emails saying Tjachyadi’s supports would not be allowed to speak during the public comment part of the board meeting.

“We will still have a rally outside to stand with Mr. T.” Monroe wrote in a message posted to social media. “Please bring signs and banners. If you don’t have time to make signs, we have markers, just bring posters. Wear pink!”

She added, “We are having a rally outside because they will not silence us. They will hear our calls for justice!”

ORIGINAL POST: Supporters of Rachmad Tjachyadi — the Hebron High School chemistry teacher known as “Mr T” who was placed on administrative leave after the right wing TikTok account @LibsOfTikTok posted video online of him wearing a dress at the school on “Spirit Day” — had planned to speak at tonight’s 5:30 p.m. meeting of the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees. But several who had registered to speak at the board meeting have been notified today they will not be allowed to speak.

The notice reads:

“Thank you for your interest in public comment at the March 4 Lewisville ISD Board Workshop.
“Public Comment at workshop meetings is limited to topics directly related to agenda items, and the topic you plan to speak on does not meet that criteria. For that reason, the chair will not recognize you to participate in public comment on March 4.
“Your input is important to the Board, and there are several ways in which you can share your feedback. You can email the entire Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lori Rapp at board@lisd.net. A district staff member would be happy to call you and listen to your comments and relay those to the Board. If you wish to receive a phone call, please respond to this email and an administrator will call you before the close of business on Wednesday.”

The email was signed Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees.

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Gordy Carmona, North Texas community engagement and advocacy strategist for Equality Texas, was among those who had registered to speak. After receiving notice that they would not be allowed to speak, they told Dallas Voice, “They clearly know why people registered to speak under the agenda item that we did: I.5.a, which involves board committees — one which is a policy committee.”

Carmona shared with Dallas Voice the comments they had prepared for the meeting:

“Good evening board trustees; my name is Gordy Carmona, and I am the community engagement and advocacy strategist for Equality Texas.
“I am here today to speak on agenda item I.5.a. Board Committee Updates, specifically the Policy Committee.
“We strongly encourage that the LISD’s Policy Committee look into the case of a teacher in the district who was unjustly placed on administrative leave after a video of them was circulated across social media by an extremist group.
“Currently under Lewisville Independent School District faculty dress code it states:
‘An employee shall be expected to maintain dress and grooming habits that project a professional image for the employee, school and District.’
“What is the districts interpretation of ‘professional image?’ Historically BIPOC professionals have been subjected to adhering to a Eurocentric standards of ‘professional attire.’ We’ve seen this in discriminatory bans placed on black hairstyles and religious garments or head coverings.
“Additionally, under LISD’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy it states that: ‘Lewisville ISD does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, gender, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity), national origin, age, disability, military status, genetic information or on any other basis prohibited by law.’
“Clarification as to the districts justification in placing this teacher on leave must be made public. The removal of a beloved teacher because of discriminatory social media posts from an out of state extremist group is not in the best interest of the students or the district. Rush judgements like these could potentially subject the district to title IX violations and disruptive media attention from all corners of the country.”

According to an email announcing the “Stand With Mr. T. Say No To Hate” action planned for the board meeting, “Mr. T.’s students have been advocating for their kind and supportive teacher’s return,” “Good teachers are hard to come by. We will not allow hatred to rule.”

Supporters have asked those planning to attend the board meeting to wear pink and to bring signs and banners for a rally outside the building at 1565 W. Main St. in Lewisville.

They also encouraged those who could not attend to email the LISD board.

— Tammye Nash

The post UPDATED: Rally still on even though Lewisville ISD board says ‘Mr. T’ supporters can’t speak at board meeting appeared first on Dallas Voice.


UPDATED: Rally still on even though Lewisville ISD board says ‘Mr. T’ supporters can’t speak at board meeting was first posted on March 4, 2024 at 3:04 pm.
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