On October 12, 2010, Joel Burns, a council person in Fort Worth, Texas, spoke for 13 minutes at a public council meeting about how his experience being bullied as a 13 year old boy nearly caused him to take his own life. Burns was catapulted into the national spotlight when his speech went viral. I’ve followed him throughout the year via his Twitter feed @JoelBurns, and he continues to provide a strong example of what it means to be an engaged and thoughtful advocate for basic human rights, as they pertain to bullying and targeting young people.
Thanks, Mr. Burns. Your commitment means a lot to me and to countless others. And your approach to all of this advocacy is what I most admire. Your poise and grace have been such an example about how activism can thoughtfully and gently affect change and shift perceptions. Thank you for your humanity.
Please take a look and listen to Joel Burns as he speaks about his experiences over the last year. His comments begin about 3 minutes in.