TULLY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– The Tully Central School District Board of Education is taking steps to improve the districts culture three months after school administration attempted to censor senior Tyler Johnson for being gay. 

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee was passed Monday night during a BOE meeting and a coordinator was named. Johnson said he feels this is the first real step the district has taken in creating change.

“I think I as well as the rest of the community are hoping for really effective change like passing the DEI steering committee is so great like we’re all super excited about that and we’re really happy we’re going to start pushing forward with DEI initiatives and stuff, but the support for LGBTQ students still seems to not be there like the support for diversity despite the committee even being passed still kinda doesn’t seem to be at the forefront.”

Tyler Johnson

Walking through the halls day in and day out is still a struggle for Johnson who’s choosing to finish off his senior year from home. 

“I just feel like I can’t be in a building where all my friends are and where I should be getting an education, but where I feel unwelcome and like unsafe,” Johnson said. 

But through his hardships he’s become a leader in the LGBTQ community, spearheading a school queer youth walkout, serving as the New York State lead for the Queer Youth Assemble and most recently was named Grand Marshall for the CNY Pride Parade.

“I always kind of took pride in standing up for LGBTQ rights and doing certain things prior to this incident but it’s given me a platform to do it on a larger scale and I’ve been able to reach more people and touch more people so I’m thankful for that.”

Tyler Johnson

Now on a mission to take a difficult situation and use it to spread hope, and he’s just getting started. 

Johnson is now suing the Tully School District, claiming a history of discrimination. A Notice of Claim was filed Monday. Superintendent Hughes declined an interview. NewsChannel 9 is still waiting to hear back from the BOE President.