DEI Initiative Well Underway
Many steps have been taken for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative to set in place a long-standing community of individuals who will see to it that Tully is an environment that ensures everyone feels safe and valued. The NYS DEI Call to Action states that school districts “will create and sustain safe, nurturing, and engaging learning environments for ALL students,” which is what Tully CSD is striving to do. Plans have been initiated at all levels to disperse information and train Tully CSD staff.
During the Superintendent’s Conference Day in March, faculty and staff sat through a keynote presentation by Q Center Program Supervisor, Hilary Avallone, and FPA-C Family Peer Advocate, Karen Fuller. The interactive presentation focused on helping faculty and staff understand the different situations our LGBTQ+ students face in their everyday lives, from simple introductions to difficult conversations. One take away was that staff and faculty should never make any assumptions about any student and that a channel of dialogue must be open and readily available. Avallone and Fuller also spoke about correct LGBTQ+ terminology, welcoming environments, risk factors, and mental health. While several of our BOE members attended the keynote session during the Superintendent Conference Day, they also attended a workshop from BOCES on the DEI initiative. Here, the Board obtained information on how to move forward supporting our LGTBQ+ students, staff, and community, and overall diversity within our schools. In addition, during a DEI presentation with BOCES staff Kathryn Daughton, Tanya Rosado-Barringer, and Mr. Schiener, our newly appointed DEI Coordinator, the Board was given an overview of what DEI initiatives had already taken place and what initiatives were forthcoming. Currently, Board members are conscientiously working on a book study. This differs from the book study that the administration is doing.
For students, the Genders and Sexualities Alliance hosted Ashley Davis, a Q Center representative, who spoke to any student interested in sitting in on the presentation during an Activity Period. Davis gave an overview of the different LGBTQ+ flags throughout history, including their meaning and which ones are still being used today. Also discussed were laws around the country that were affecting today’s LGBTQ+ youth. Davis offered additional insight, resources, and information to the students in the GSA on ways to enhance their club.
With things well underway concerning the DEI initiative, an open invitation was sent out to the entire community offering for parents and community members to take an interest in the initiative and to become potential DEI committee members.
Representatives from the Q Center presented at the March Superintendent Conference Day.
Students welcomed a guest speaker from the Q Center.