The Bully Proof Classroom


An Engaging And Thought Provoking Talk Show

Written By: James H Burns - Nov• 18•13

Here is a wonderful testimonials that I received regarding The Bully Proof Classroom radio show that I do on blogtalkradio.  If you would like to be interviewed on my show please do not hesitate to contact me through this website. Just click on the tab contact at the top. The interviewee was Tiffany Haisten a dynamic teacher who has some great ideas on how to combat the problem of bullying that we face in our families, schools, and communities. Listen here:


The Bully Proof Classroom is an engaging and thought provoking talk show. Jim Burns is informative and provides meaningful insight to the problems that teachers and parents face daily. The Bully Proof Classroom gives straightforward advice to the bullying epidemic that is swamping the nation. Listeners are guaranteed to hear honest and uncensored common sense discussions. Guests on the Bully Proof Classroom are allowed to bring real world situations to the table and share proactive tips on parenting in this “post-modern” world.  Jim Burns approaches topics that are often controversial with grace and tact; which provides the listener and guests the opportunity to hear opposing opinions without the worry of argumentative shenanigans.  Jim Burns and the Bully Proof Classroom are equipping parents and educators with the resolve they need to stand up for our most precious gift – our children. I am listening…are you?

Health Insurance Or Health Care?

Written By: James H Burns - Oct• 23•13

What does health insurance and health care have to do with bullying? Well maybe nothing or maybe it has a lot to do with it; maybe more than we would like or even imagine. I’m not sure but I feel compelled to speak about an event that occurred on October 18, 2013 that involved my daughter Grace and I. I think that it’s important to state here that I have health insurance, good health insurance. I am a retired high school administrator and receive an excellent health care package from the state of New Jersey. So, this is not going to be a complaint fest. It’s something that I am speaking about because my eyes were opened to a few things that are worth sharing as the topic of health care has become so divisive in our country. I’m not a politician, just an average Joe but things happen at times that just trouble me.

I received a call on Friday morning from the nurse of Grace’s school. She informed me that Grace was experiencing a great deal of pain on her right side and should be taken to a doctor or to the emergency room at our local hospital to rule out appendicitis. I drove over to the school picked up Grace and headed to the hospital’s emergency room. We walked in and filled out a form with all of the basic information needed by the hospital. We then sat and waited to be called for what they call triage. About ten minutes later a nurse called us in to an examining room and asked us for the same information that was on the form I just filled out and entered it into a computer. She asked Grace some basic questions about her condition took her vital signs and told us we would be called back in when a bed was available. In about 15 minutes we were called back in, directed to a room where Grace put on her hospital gown and waited. Waited for what I hoped would be a doctor. Well, the door opened and in came a woman with a portable computer and asked us for the same information that I just gave to the triage nurse. I hope you are counting. A nurse came in occasionally and tucked Grace in, took her temperature, asked her how she was feeling and left. We just wanted to see a doctor and get a diagnosis.

After about an hour a woman came in, gave us her name and identified herself as the nurse practitioner. She examined Grace and told her that her pain was in the area of her appendix and that she was going to order a CAT scan. My question was and still is; where was the doctor? I mean I have good health insurance right, so why was my daughter being examined by the doctor’s underling?  The next thing that happened was a tech came in to schedule the CAT scan and asked Grace the same questions that the other three people asked her previously. How many times do they need this information? Well Grace had her CAT scan, and we found out after a six hour stint in the ER that she was constipated. She was told to go home take a laxative and eat more fiber.

Well, now the rant. As stated earlier I have good health insurance as do many people but, that doesn’t matter, because health care, not health insurance has become a political football in this country. The government was shut down because of it, patients who are in the hospital pay $60 dollars for Tylenol because of it, the mind of everyone is focused on it, the media talks about it, and quite frankly I am sick of IT. What’s the difference between health insurance and health care? Health insurance is what you have or will have when you apply online and receive the health insurance that will be assigned to you by the government. To many people this is a life saver. Some people think that it is for FREE. It’s not, the co-pays are huge, the deductibles are between 2 and $10,000, and based upon your income you will have to pay a monthly premium. Health insurance is what you have or will have; health care is what you get. The quality of the care will be determined by how much the doctors, clinics, and hospitals can afford to offer based upon how much they receive from the insurance companies. My quality health insurance does not guarantee me quality health care. I can see any doctor I want but my care will be based upon the doctors revenue overall. If my doctor has huge overhead and he is treating patients with huge co-pays and deductibles the chances are pretty good that when he is done treating those patients he will be waiting around for his money for a good long while. The results for someone like me; I receive the same health care as does everyone else.

Let me get this straight right now, I am pleased that everyone will receive health insurance. But, I want them to be aware often what is believed to be a life saver can be a killer. Many people are broke in this country right now. What are they supposed to do when the doctor wants his co-pay, or when they can’t afford to pay the minimum insurance premium, or when something catastrophic happens and their insurance doesn’t cover it, or when money has to be paid to meet their deductible? The government will have to eat those numbers and that will drive up the national debt all the more.

I am just an average Joe which I said already, I worked for 30 years to receive the great health insurance that I now have. But, I can see already that if an emergency room doesn’t have a doctor but has a nurse practitioner working the floor someone will pay and I don’t mean monetarily. Did I feel bullied the other day? Of course I did. I was forced to accept the unacceptable because there was no other alternative. Are we being bullied as a country? Of course we are, the problem is though the country doesn’t even realize it.

How To Teach Your Children Not To Bully

Written By: Tyler Clark - Oct• 04•13

While much of the focus of the anti-bullying movement is focused on the victims, there are many children who participate in bullying who need help as well. When parents learn that their child is involved in bullying another child, it can be a very difficult time for them. It is important to address this issue immediately to avoid further conflicts and worsening behavior.

The first step in helping your child with this difficult time, is to fully understand bullying and the possible causes of this behavior. Bullying often occurs as a result of a child feeling insecure. The act of bullying provides that child with a feeling of power and worth. Bullying can also be a result of a child’s lack of understanding that what they are doing is wrong, and it is often an outcome of emotional confusion brought on by anger, frustration or any number of things.

While addressing this issue with your child, it is important to be firm and let them know that there will be serious consequences if this behavior is continued, while also being as understanding as you possibly can. The first step is to analyze your home life and try to understand the roots of the issue. Improvement always starts at home, so make sure you are always doing your best to provide a good example regarding appropriate behavior. Make sure that they know that what they are doing is wrong and explain the reasons why.

To address the situation, start by opening the lines of communication between yourself and your child to understand why they are doing this. Do your best to learn about your child’s relationships and social lifestyle. Who they are and aren’t hanging out with can have a tremendous effect on their behavior. It is also often helpful to get in touch with your child’s friend’s parents, teachers, and school administration about the issue to gain insight into the behavior. Most importantly you should teach your child the values of treating others kindly, and provide a lot of positive reinforcement for good behavior.

There are many different causes of bullying and some are more obvious than others. Often times what children experience at home, whether it be physical altercations with siblings or yelling among parents and relatives, can have a negative effect on their behavior elsewhere. Speak to teachers, other faculty and coaches to get a sense of what might be causing your child’s behavior. If it seems like it may be caused by a difficulty controlling anger or other emotions, then seek the help of a health professional. It can be a slow and laborious process to help a child stop bullying, but doing so is sure to help them achieve joy and success in their personal and professional lives in the future.


Tyler Clark works for Liahona Academy and is an expert on bullying prevention.

They Walk Amongst Us

Written By: James H Burns - Sep• 20•13

Aaron Alexis

Tell me how we miss these people; enough already. Let’s start at the beginning: A general discharge from the Navy indicating eight to ten events of misconduct, a discharge that the system converted to an honorable discharge, arrested for shooting three bullets into a neighbors apartment, shot out three of his neighbors tires, admitted he had blackouts that were fueled by anger, identified by his father as having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from involvement in 9-11 rescue attempts, a sweet and intelligent guy, but very aggressive, identified by a lay person at the Buddist Temple where he worshiped as someone who might kill himself one day. Well Aaron Alexis doesn’t have to kill himself, somebody did it for him. Security did it at The Washington Navy Yard. But, not before he went on a rampage and shot and killed 12 people and injured countless others both physically and emotionally.

They walk amongst us and we don’t even know it. But, we do know it! Take a look at the track record. Not only do we know it we ignore it. Aaron Alexis discharge from the Navy was commuted from a general discharge to an honorable discharge. He had up to ten counts of misconduct while in the Navy. Who makes these systemic changes? He was identified by friends and co-workers as aggressive, had swings in his personality, was potentially bi-polar, carried and used weapons, and had suicide ideation. Yet, it was reported that he was a civilian information technology contractor, he worked on the Navy and Marine Corps intranet and was given a security clearance classified as “secret.” He had a bogus common access card and gained entrance into the yard with a minimum security check. He was deviant and dysfunctional enough to smuggle weapons into the yard probably because his intranet security clearance gave him the full blown view of where to hide himself and his weapons. And, oh yes did I mention that he applied and was granted a license for fire arms  like he was applying for a dog license.

I don’t understand it. I do understand it, but I don’t. I can give you the reason, but I can never excuse it. You see reasons have become excuses. We evade the excuse and call it a reason and in doing so we allow those who are dangerously mentally ill to walk amongst us and have their way with us. We remain politically correct at the risk of allowing someone with Aaron Alexis’s profile to walk into a Navy Yard, open fire and kill twelve people; people that he didn’t even know but that represented the dark world that he lived in. Oh, he had anger issues for sure, but no one will know who he was angry at. Political correctness will be the undoing of this country. The truth is something that we all think but rarely say for our own fear of judgment by others. But, if we don’t learn to understand that someone with Alexis’s profile is dangerous we will fear the judgment of others who accuse us of racial, political, psychological profiling. I love this quote by George Orwell; “The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those that speak it.” The truth is they walk amongst us and the question is who or what do we fear.



Great Article From NPR

Written By: James H Burns - Aug• 21•13

Please credit the author of this article and do visit for more great articles on this topic and many others. I merely did the posting.

Victims Of Bullying Are More Likely To Be Arrested As Adults

by Nancy Shute

August 01, 2013 3:40 PM

Children who are bullied over time are more apt to struggle as adults.

You’d expect bullies to grow up to get in trouble with the law.

But children who are consistently bullied also are more likely to run afoul of the law as adults, including being arrested and jailed.

Almost 14 percent of people who said they were bullied repeatedly in childhood and their teens had been in prison, compared to 6 percent of people who weren’t bullied, according to a study.

Women who were repeatedly bullied before age 18 were more likely to use alcohol or drugs than men, and also more likely to be arrested and incarcerated.

“Males and females are different,” says , an associate professor with the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, who led the study. “Females tend to be a little more vulnerable.”

Most violence research doesn’t look at whether victims are more likely to become offenders, Turner says. He looked at data from 7,335 people who were between the ages of 12 and 16 in 1996. They were part of the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which followed them for 14 years.

Fifteen percent said they had been bullied repeatedly in childhood. Six percent said they were bullied after age 12. And 5 percent said they had been victimized both in childhood and in their teens. These chronic victims were the ones most apt to have substance abuse and criminal justice problems as young adults.

“The walkaway from this is being a victim regardless of the time is pretty strongly associated with subsequent legal problems,” Turner told Shots. “But it was the chronic victims who experienced the highest odds of subsequent involvement in the system.”

The survey didn’t ask the participants if they were bullies themselves or measure the type of bullying they received. It was presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Honolulu.

Other research has found that people who were bullied as children are more likely to have as adults.

Parents and pediatricians should look for signs that a child is bullied, Turner says, and make sure that children get prompt help in managing that adversity, rather than figuring things will get better with time.

“We have to catch them early,” Turner says. “Victimization tends to peak in fifth, sixth, seventh grade. We have to intervene early in the life course and over a sustained period. ”



Good Grades Are Nice – But Mastery Is Better

Written By: James H Burns - Jul• 30•13

When I was growing up, there was nothing better than bringing home a report card that had good grades on it. Oh, I wasn’t a straight A student, but I got my share of A’s and B’s. I also got my share of C’s and D’s. I guess I was what you call an average student. My parents always checked my report card and questioned any low grades and encouraged me to do better when they felt that I wasn’t working up to my abilities. Today good grades are still the benchmark we use to determine if a student is going to be promoted or retained. The higher achieving students who are in high school usually strive for good grades in rigorous courses, because they know that their class ranking among other things will determine the type of college that they will be admitted to. Good grades are something that everyone wants, and for some reason, they’re just about what everyone gets. The two questions that I have are these: does everyone who gets a good grade deserve it, and is that grade a good indicator of the person’s ability?

I remember when I was a freshman in high school, and I struggled with Algebra I. I couldn’t catch on no matter what. The teacher was great, she knew her stuff, and she did everything to try and get me through this subject. I ended up failing the class. I told my dad that I would take the class again in my sophomore year, because back then you only needed to take three years of math. He wouldn’t hear of it, and he made me go to summer school. In summer school I really got a grasp of the subject matter.  My grade was still only a C, but I really understood the material. I had mastered the content. When I took algebra two during my sophomore year I received a final grade of an A. That was one A that I felt I really earned. I felt good about the A, but I felt even better that I really knew the subject matter.

A student can earn an A in a class for a lot of reasons. He/she may be a very hard worker and really apply himself/herself. The teacher may be benevolent and award A’s to most or all of the students, the student might cheat on tests and quizzes, or the teacher may have cooperative groups set up in his/her classroom, which allows for group work to be turned in with everyone receives the same grade. In the last 20 years, the grading system has become progressively more liberal. Teachers almost never fail students anymore.   I think two of the biggest reasons why the grading system in schools has become so liberal is because of parental pressure, and because teachers have been told by administration that they can’t fail kids. Parents who have kids in high school know of the competition that’s out there to get into good colleges. If their son/daughter receives a B in a class, they know it could throw of their child’s class ranking and their child might not be able to get into the college of their choice. Teachers fear giving a low grade because district scrutiny says that if they fail too many students, those failing grades are reflection poor teaching.

Society views good grades as an indicator of student success. The current brain research tell us that in order to determine if a child has mastered school related material they have to show that they retained the information 24-48 hours after they have been given a test.

If a student takes a social studies test on WWII and receives a grade of an A, does that mean that he/she has mastered the content? The only way to be really sure is to test the student again in a day or two. This is very unrealistic and I could never imagine any school doing this.

I have a friend whose son is attending Dartmouth College. I know that he never worried about his grades and neither did his mother. He was more concerned about learning the content of the course. The good grades came as a result of his attitude about learning. I don’t believe that he measured himself based on grades, but rather on how much he learned and remembered. When he took a class he always tried to figure out what he was going to get out of the teacher, or out of a textbook if the teacher wasn’t too good. It didn’t matter to him how the material was taught, and it certainly didn’t matter to him if the teacher was good or if the teacher was bad. He applied himself as a student and he himself worked to master the content. Successful people don’t really worry about a grade; they are more concerned about what they are going to learn. Knowledge to them is sacred, and they work to get as much of it as they can. Grades create competition and that’s a good thing. Good colleges are filled with good students who have worked hard to get where they are and who want to stay where they are. Excellent students like receiving A’s, but they know that that the grades they have received are only an indication that they have truly mastered the material that was taught.




Listen Now!

Written By: James H Burns - Jun• 14•13

If you are not listening to The Bully Proof Classrooms radio shows on blogtalkradio you should be. Every Monday at 6:30 am est. a 15 minute show is done that provides you with The Anti Bullying Tip of the Week. This show provides a short anti bullying tip and a life lesson that you can communicate to your students or your children.

On Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm est. you can hear a great interview with an author or a noted professional who is involved in the anti bullying movement. On nights when we are not interviewing someone you will hear a great show on anti bullying, relationships, dating, the family and a variety of related topics that will give you unique insights into some of life’s very basic but at times more complicated inter-personal issues.

All shows are archived, so if you miss a show just go the the site and listen at your convenience. The Bully Proof Classroom is now on iTunes as well. So if you have an iphone, ipad, smart phone, or android device just go to iTunes and search The Bully Proof Classroom. You can subscribe to the entire show or just listen to selected podcasts.

So please go to


The Big Stuff Is The Small Stuff

Written By: James H Burns - May• 20•13

Jonathan Niese pitcher for The New York Mets just pitched a gem of a baseball game against The St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched 7.1 innings, struck out three, walked two, and allowed six hits and two runs. The Mets snapped a six game losing streak and won the game 5-2. The last 2 games that Niese pitched before this one weren’t too good. As a matter of fact he was god-awful, and he just plain stunk. They asked Niese what was different today in a post game interview and he said “I started throwing the ball over the top again, and not off to the side.” Niese’s hand position when delivering a baseball to home plate is undetectable to the naked eye, but his pitching coach Dan Warthen noticed the difference and corrected it. Hold your left hand out in front of you with your palm facing toward someone or something. Now turn your hand at the wrist one inch to the left. Once Niese brought his hand back to the right his delivery to home plate improved. That little one inch move to the left made the difference in Niese being a winner today and a loser the last two games.

Sometimes it takes a coach to help us make changes, but in reality we don’t have a coach. A life coach that is. We go through life doing things, and saying things until we find out that we are making small mistakes in our life, in our marriage or relationships, with our children, and on our jobs. The late Steven Covey put it best when he said; “Often we climb the ladder of success only to discover at the end of our life that the ladder was leaning on the wrong wall.”

We are only a compilation of what people have said to us and what people have done to us throughout our lives, and the decisions that we make or have made are based upon the imprint that we have received as a child. The way we think, the things we say, the way we act, our attitudes, and our motives are almost set in stone by the time we are just five years old. Like a computer if our brain is not programmed correctly we will believe that what we say and do is true and accurate, and our decisions in life may be based on some false conclusions that we have drawn about the world and the people in it. Jon Niese didn’t even notice the very small repositioning of his hand on the ball; he thought that his mechanics were fine and couldn’t understand why he was pitching so poorly. As adults we don’t notice the small things that we do or say that could be rude, discourteous, or just plain inconsiderate, and believe that we are doing just fine. We have a hard time trying to understand why we keep losing at the game of life. The coach told Niese about his mechanical error, other people tell us about our shortcomings and the things we don’t see or even realize. These are our blind spots. Niese adjusted, can we? Truly, the big stuff is the small stuff.


Written By: James H Burns - May• 16•13

Oh yeah, I was an overweight little boy. So much so, that when my mother took me to buy clothes I went to what I thought was a special clothing store for boys like me, fat. Why did I think this? Because when I walked into the store, the opened tie, crossed arm, wrinkled shirt, cigarette smoking salesman, took one look at me from head to toe, looked at my mother, pointed to the back of the store and said, “Husky.” Gee did I feel special, until I discovered that the store I was in was one of the only stores around that sold clothes for fat kids. Sure, I said it, for fat kids, because that’s how I felt like a fat kid, and that’s how I was treated. Special stores for special kids who were fat. My skinny friends bought clothes from all kinds of stores; I was relegated to one store, and one style. I certainly was not one of the cool kids, and at times felt isolated and excluded.

My dad who was a baseball fan encouraged me to try out for little league. I remember during one game, I struck out, thought I walked and ran to third base. A laughing stock; but, my biggest humiliation was not the fact that I didn’t understand the rules of the game but rather, not having a uniform that fit. Why? They didn’t make Husky. I liked and still like baseball, but I was uncool. I was uncool until I was in the seventh grade and attending a Catholic grammar school. We were playing a pick-up game out on the blacktop I and hit a softball about 300 feet. Out of the blue I was cool. During the winter of 1968-69 I lost weight, worked out and got into great physical condition, and in the spring played baseball with anyone who wanted to play. Throughout my teen years I played baseball in The Joe Medwick League, The Babe Ruth League, High School, and American Legion Leagues. Was I that good?  No, but I knew how to compete. I could have been better, but I lacked confidence. I still felt the exclusion of the tag that was pinned on me when I was seven years old, Husky.

Kids become overweight for a variety of reason; poor self-control, introduction of a poor diet, anxiety, and comfort, to name a few. Clothes are now made for kids of all shapes and sizes. Clothes should not define a kid, but our society and our culture create such clothes competition that socioeconomic status is defined by the types of clothes kids’ wear causing rumors, gossip, and ridicule in school. Kids don’t know but they should know that they can’t judge a book by its cover and they can’t use clothes as a benchmark for who they choose as friends, and who they associate with.

I have two daughters who have bought a variety of clothes from a variety of stores. When they were younger they always wanted designer clothes and as teenagers lost weight to wear the fashion conscience clothes that their peers wore. Now, they buy clothes from Target or Wal-Mart because frankly designer clothes are too expensive and they just don’t really care anymore. But, when they were younger the true reason they lost weight to wear designer clothes was because designer’s force exclusion by manufacturing clothing that fits only up to size ten. My daughters were not even close to being overweight, and still they had trouble buying designer clothes.

Abercrombie and Fitch have just crossed the line by redefining the word Husky. If you are Husky, shop somewhere else because we don’t make clothes for plump kids. Why? Because cool has been defined as skinny, and those who are not skinny are just uncool. They are encouraging kids strange as it may seem to exclude their peers because of clothes competition and body type. Exclusion is one of the worst forms of bullying that kids experience today. The isolation and the loneliness kids feel is horrific. The hit that a child’s self-esteem takes because of exclusion can last a lifetime. The brainwashing that our kids are experiencing today by the media is going to impact them and possibly their children. We can’t allow our children to isolate, exclude, bully, or harass others because of race, creed, color, or religion. But, truly we can’t allow the subliminal seduction by Abercrombie and Fitch, along with other clothing manufacturers that is redefining us as a culture going forward which is affecting the well being of our children for just being Husky.


Read the Story Here

Majoring In Minors

Written By: James H Burns - May• 10•13

New York City Schools Now Ban Butter

Okay, we have now entered The Twilight Zone. The City of New York’s department of education has concluded that butter is a threat to its school children and will severely discipline cafeteria workers who order this now banned substance and use it for preparing school meals. Mayor Michael Bloomberg leads this charge I’m sure, just as he led the failed charge to stop the sale of extra large sodas in the city. He’s worried about kids becoming obese. This is the same Michael Bloomberg who was the master of ceremonies at this year’s hot dog eating contest on Coney Island. In his speech during this glutinous event he stated that he was honored to be there to support these great eaters. What a hypocrite.

Childhood obesity, it’s the schools fault right? I don’t think so. Quite frankly I am sick of the schools getting blamed for what goes on in a dysfunctional society. Neil Cavuto a news caster for Fox News had fitness guru Jack LaLanne on his show about three years ago. The interview took place the day before the biggest eating day of the year, Thanksgiving. He posed the question to Jack; “Jack what we are going to do about this problem of childhood obesity and diabetes.” Jack emphatically answered; “The first thing we have to do is to get all the junk out of the schools.” Excuse me Jack, is it the schools fault these kids are overweight?  Furthermore, not all kids are overweight, and should not have to be put on an institutional diet consisting of carrot sticks, and raisins. The kids who are going to eat junk food were introduced to it in their home by their parents and developed a taste for it long before they got to school. Sure, bar it from school, they’ll eat it at home.

Parents today are banned from coming into school with cupcakes to give to the teacher for a birthday celebration for their child. They almost have to go through a cupcake detector before they enter the building. It’s easier to get into the building with an automatic weapon then to sneak in with a pan of cupcakes. If Bloomberg is so worried about the health of our children then ban cigarette sales. He won’t because the taxes from cigarette sales support the city’s economy.

The Gestapo tactics that are being used by Bloomberg and the city’s department of ed. are the same things educators discourage kids from using when interacting with their peers; threats, intimidation, bullying, and control. Greg Floyd, president of Local 237 Teamsters, which represents the kitchen managers, said it best when he stated, “We understand the need for healthy meals, but we do not appreciate the administration bullying our members without giving them instructions on how to prepare meals” (Daily News Article)

As a society and as a culture the focus has been placed on the wrong things and in the wrong place. Will banning butter create a kinder, caring, and more respectful learning environment? Will restricting a person’s personal dietary freedom eliminate behavior problems, violence, disrespect, and bullying from our schools or moreover from our culture? Stop the insanity, stop majoring in minors and realize that narrow minded politicians are trying to legislate morality and are becoming a bigger problem then butter could ever be for our children and our society.