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Joel Burns          

Former Fort Worth Texas City Councilman Turned Anti-Bullying Advocate

Anti-Bullying Prevention and Platform

I wanted to thank everyone who has reached out to me in response to my comments at the Fort Worth City Council meeting. I spoke out in the hopes that a few people in the community would hear my story and feel supported, and maybe inspired to take action in support of someone they knew was suffering. I never could have imagined the overwhelming response. Thousands of people from around the world reached out and I can’t thank you enough for trusting me with your stories. As I said on October 12, 2010, no child should be made to feel they are without worth. They should know when times get tough, they are not alone. They need to understand when they need it, help is there in the form of a friend, a family member, a teacher, a police officer, a pastor – anyone who can support them. We will continue to update this page with information regarding this issue. I encourage you to continue to speak out against bullying from wherever you stand today.

Joel partners with parents, teachers, administrators, and students, both in Fort Worth and nationally, on ways to end bullying in our schools.

“No child should be made to feel like they are without worth. It is not the responsibility of the child to put a stop to bullying. It is our responsibility and obligation as adults to ensure that every child can grow and learn in a safe environment.”

For his efforts to end bullying, Joel was honored with the 2011 Elected Official of the Year award from the National Association of Social Workers in North Central Texas-Fort Worth Area Branch. Joel’s commitment to Fort Worth youth also earned him the 2011 “Believing in Youth” award presented by Santa Fe Youth Services.

Joel supports strong anti-bullying legislation that gives teachers access to the tools they need to prevent, identify, and report bullying. He also supports federal legislation, the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would direct schools and districts to adopt codes of conduct to prevent bullying and harassment.

Joel Burns was born at the maternity hospital of the Gladney Center for Adoption, five blocks from where he now lives in the Ryan Place neighborhood. He grew up on the O.C. Armstrong Ranch in southwest Fort Worth. For decades, the Armstrong family helped fund Texas Wesleyan University, where he would later attend. Joel has served on many local Boards and Commissions and worked with many neighborhood and professional groups dedicated to preserving and protecting Fort Worth.

As Wendy Davis' appointee to be the District 9 Zoning Commissioner, Joel has worked hard to bring community leaders, neighborhood associations and developers to the same table so they can move forward together. He is committed to continuing Councilwoman Davis' tradition of bringing people together to solve community problems.

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