Jim Dillon is an educational consultant specialising in leadership and school bullying. He has been an elementary principal in one school for 17 years and a total of 20 years as a school administrator. Prior to that, Jim Dillon also worked as a special education teacher. He talks to NoBullying.com about School Bullying, Cyber Bullying and changing the approach to bullying. He tells us of his efforts to make schools and the school bus a better place for children through bullying education and character education books for children.
The Interview begins with these questions:
Jim Dillon: Right now I am doing educational consulting and professional development for a company and I consult with them on doing professional development based on leadership and school bullying and just the whole change process. Prior to that, I was an elementary principal in one school for 17 years and probably a total of 20 years as a school administrator. Prior to that, I was a special education teacher. So, that’s pretty much my education and career for all about 35 years but during the time I was elementary principal, our school had some problems with the school bus. It is a very difficult problem when you are principal to think you can control all students’ behaviour on a bus when they are miles away. We were at a very strong school, community, teachers, parents and we had a sure decision-making team and we decided to address the problem by developing a program we called ‘The Peaceful School Bus’, which was based on the principal of getting the kids to form a sense of community on the bus.
We had great success with that so much so that I was approached by a publisher to write a book, we were doing a book which I did which is called ‘The Peaceful School Bus’ which is a facilitator’s guide and I sold about 2800 copies primarily in the US and Canada I think. So, it is being used in school districts across the US and then I retired in 2010 and I discovered that really the critical difference between schools that were making progress of bullying prevention wasn’t so much the program that they used even though there are some programs versus programs are not really that great but I found the critical variable are really the people there and the people with the leadership that came to the people and when I looked around, I didn’t see a lot of resources there for school leaders who really wanted to look at their school culture and climate and change it that bullying became more than a rare occurrence than a common occurrence and that led me to do some research and I put out a book proposal to Corwin Press (http://www.corwin.com/) and they accepted it and it is called ‘No Place for Bullying’.
So, it’s a guide for school administrators to approach bullying prevention from a more holistic comprehensive approach where you are not just trying to stop bullying, you are trying to do something positive which is changing the cultural norms and the climate by building and empowering students to be responsible bystanders and I go through a step by steps ways of ways of doing that. So now a lot of my work is trying to present this approach through professional development that I do for workshops for administrators. That sums up what I am doing.
Is the Bullying Situation Improving?
Ciaran Connolly: So, basically, your experience is at schools and looking at the bullying. You are the perfect person for me to be talking to today and we will definitely go back and talk through each of those points if we have time. With bullying, of course you have been in schools and you have researched and written a book or some books on it as well as lecturing and training, do you think it’s declining or improving or the same?
Read the rest of this interview here: http://nobullying.com/jim-dillon-on-school-bullying/