The Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) is a national, not-for-profit, registered charitable organization with a mandate to reduce youth violence and make our schools and communities safer. The organization grew out of the Government of Ontario’s Safe School Task Force and was launched in 1997 by representatives from police, education and business communities.
CSSN is the only organization of its kind in Canada and is recognized by national print, television and radio media as a primary source for information and comment on youth-violence issues of the day.
Everyone recognizes how important it is for our children to have safe and secure school environments, but there are factors beyond the control of either parents or educators because they are societal in nature. We believe that fostering a sense of shared responsibility about the issues relating to youth violence in our communities is fundamental for progress to be made.
Bullying, youth violence and crime in schools and communities is a growing concern across Canada. The number of young people charged with assault and weapons offences has more than doubled in the past decade. The presence of guns in our schools deserves our immediate attention. Gang and weapons-related school violence has intimidated many children into a code of silence.
The Canadian Safe School Network envisions a society in which all children and youth can:
- Learn and grow in a caring, tolerant and violence-free environment;
- Become empowered, self-advocate and apply strategies to respond in socially acceptable ways to personal safety issues, especially those that are potentially violent;
- Trust adults to believe, respect and protect them from harm; and
- Behave responsibly and accept the natural consequences of their own behaviour.
At CSSN we encourage community members from both private and public sectors to become actively engaged and involved. CSSN works with police services, school boards, the municipal, provincial and federal governments and the business community to find new solutions to the problem of youth violence. We are always looking for other concerned organizations to help us with special initiatives or to sponsor any of our events.
Since our inception, we have been very active in developing safe school resources, administering research, hosting conferences and professional development for educators and administrators across Canada.