Marching with Dr. King
by James Dillon
Sometimes, doing the right thing can get you in trouble. This is a lesson James learns the hard way when he is moved to sit behind Richie. The two hit it off at first, with James sharing observations about funny habits their classmates have. That’s when Richie reveals his true colors.
He’s sneaky, avoiding the watchful eyes of teachers and playing the part of the perfect student. As he vies for the Premier Student of the Year Award, he uses James’s observations to manipulate the school’s reward system and blackmail students into helping him.
When James learns of his new friend’s plan, he does his best to stop it but ultimately ends up getting himself in trouble. As he tries to convince other students to stand with him, he learns just how far Richie is willing to go. With a school full of seemingly oblivious teachers, the question of what to do becomes more and more complex.
The assignment of a social studies project on Martin Luther King Jr. finally brings James to the realization that by delving into the past, he might be able to learn some valuable strategies for dealing with his problems in the present.
August 20, 2018: SmartBrief
Article published - Tips for changing school climate
June 20, 2018: SmartBrief
Article published - "Are we jumping to SEL?"
December 2016: TEDxSchenectady
April 2018: SmartBrief
Article published - "Staying for the credits"
March 2018: SmartBrief
Article published - "The real meaning of discipline"
Other Books by Jim Dillon
A Story to Help Children Discover How Everyone Learns Differently
by James Dillon, illustrated by Kara McHale
Kevin never smiles at school, but he is different at home. He jumps up and down when his favorite football team scores a touchdown, and screams "CANNONBALL!" when he jumps into the swimming pool. But at school he feels that he isn't 'okay.' Other kids in his class are much quicker at putting their hands up and answering the teacher's questions, and Kevin feels that he will never catch up. One day, his reading teacher asks him to help out with the school store, and Kevin slowly begins to realise that he had really been 'a okay' all along.
Through providing an insight into Kevin's thoughts, feelings and coping strategies, this picture book for ages 5-8 is a source of support for children who, like Kevin, find school difficult and feel that they are 'behind' their peers. The book, which draws on the author's experiences as the principal of an elementary school, is also the perfect springboard for discussion around difficulties at school, academic ability, self-esteem, confidence and recognising strengths.
Reframing Bullying Prevention to Build Stronger School Communities
by James Dillon
Jim's book, published by Corwin, is now available for purchase.
Tackle underlying issues to get to the root of bullying. By reframing bullying prevention, you can make significant progress in addressing the underlying issues causing bullying and aggression in your school. In this resource, James Dillon digs into the work that busy educators often have little time for: translating rich and insightful research on the dynamics of change into practical terms. He probes deeply into the issues and why they persist in our schools to promote meaningful conversation among school staff and parents. Inside you’ll find:
Vignettes, analogies, and real-life examples along with tools that illustrate the benefits of using alternative methods to prevent bullying
Discussion on transforming the role of discipline to reframe bullying among teachers, administrators, and students
Key ideas and concepts summarized in easy-to-understand bullet points and charts
Guidance on how to establish a school climate that promotes empathy and compassion instead of fear
Reframing bullying prevention will allow competent and caring educators, students, and parents to not just stop bullying, but to improve the learning environment for all students.
No Place for Bullying: Leadership for Schools That Care for Every Student
by James Dillon
Discover the keys to successful bullying prevention!
No Place for Bullying describes the paradigm shifts a school administrator needs to create in order to develop and lead a schoolwide bully prevention program. Preventing and counteracting bullying should be a top priority for every school leader, but anti-bullying efforts often fail because they do not have full support from all stakeholders, including parents.
This accessible book makes it easy to implement the three critical components of effective leadership for bullying prevention:
The WILL to address the problem
The SKILL to lead others to help reduce and prevent bullying
The FOLLOW THROUGH to ensure that anti-bullying policies are
established and sustained
Filled with activities and examples, No Place for Bullying provides the tools to inspire the cultural shift necessary to combat bullying in schools. Ensure that bullying prevention becomes an ongoing and established part of your school’s culture and climate by becoming an instrument of change!
In his own words...
Listen to Jim's interview about his book, "No Place for Bullying".
The Peaceful School Bus Book and Program
Watch a video about the Peaceful School Bus program in Midlothian, VA above.
Jim Dillon has been an educator for over 35 years, including 20 years as a school administrator. While he was the principal of Lynnwood Elementary in New York, he developed the Peaceful School Bus Program, designed to prevent and reduce bullying, and subsequently published The Peaceful School Bus (Hazelden). The program is now being implemented in schools across the country. Jim was named Principal of the Year in 2007 by the Greater Capital Region Principal Center. He received recognition for administrative leadership for character education. In 2010, Lynnwood Elementary was recognized by NYS ASCD for Educating the Whole Child for the 21st Century. Jim was an invited participant and presenter at the first National Summit on Bullying Prevention sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 and is a certified Olweus bullying Prevention Program trainer.
Jim is currently an educational consultant for Measurement Incorporated. He makes presentations and conducts workshops on a variety of educational topics, including instruction, classroom
management, leadership, and supervision. He has presented at many local, state and national conferences.
He has four grown children, Ernie, Tim, Brian and Hannah. He and his wife, Louisa, a school social worker, live in Niskayuna, NY.