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Bullying Lesson: PR Professional/Dad Stepping Up To Help Another “Average” Dad in Crisis

By October 8, 2010 No Comments


You’ve seen the story of James Jones and the infamous tirade on the Orlando school bus. Here’s another — and inspiring — part of the story.
There are three lessons to learn from this episode:
1.) Never flip out on a school bus. You might embarrass your child. You might embarrass yourself. You might end up in jail.
2.) If you do make a mistake, sincerely apologize.
3.) Never forget that there are good people in the world who, whether they’re asked to or not, step up.
It’s the third lesson that hasn’t been covered.
In the case of Mr. Jones, he found a friend in an Orlando public relations professional who was minding his own business until he saw the story first break on the local news.
As a father himself, Ryan Julison had to step in. He knows all too well the power of the media and wanted to volunteer his time to help Mr. Jones both protect his reputation and turn this potentially damaging situation around to help others in a similar position.
Most people don’t understand how time consuming it is to help someone through a crisis, especially when it involves the media. In this case, the crisis was caused by bullies on a bus who wouldn’t let James’ daughter and a friend alone. Ryan knew that if Mr. Jones didn’t have the opportunity to use this as a teachable moment for the nation, than the young bullies won and a basically good father could be destroyed.
So Ryan stepped up and offered to help the Jones family and fortunately, James Jones has been able to speak on behalf of so many frustrated parents. Bullying is heart-wrenching and can push a parent to the brink. It inspires rage and often clouds our judgment.
It’s almost gratifying to see that Mr. Jones instantaneously had thousands of supportive fans on Facebook. It seems that an overwhelming number of people identify with his need to protect his child. With Ryan’s help, James is also helping the Pacer Center, a leading organization in bullying prevention and organizers of this month’s Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.
Thanks in part to Ryan, there is more dialogue and more empathy towards those parents up against a system that doesn’t listen to what kids are going through, whether it’s on a school bus, in a schoolyard or online.
Ryan Julison didn’t have to step up. He could have gone about his business and not donated his time in a bad economy. But he did. He’s by no means an expert in bullying prevention but simply a PR professional who doesn’t need a psychology degree to know the power of compassion.
When asked if he would do it all again, Ryan answered:

Without question, I would do it all over again. I feel I am the one who has truly benefitted from my relationship with the Jones family. I’ve seen the true love and admiration of a family leading a modest life filled with challenges. We could all learn something from them, not just about bullying, but life.

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