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. CSSN was born of the Government of Ontario’s Safe School Task Force and was launched in 1997 by representatives from police, education and business communities.
It is important for children to feel safe and secure at school. Unfortunately, there are a multitude of factors and issues that continue to persist within schools. Physical, verbal and cyber bullying, adolescent mental health issues, discrimination and isolation due to various identities (e.g. sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, racial, socio-economic status), and crime in schools and communities are ongoing concerns across Canada. The number of young people charged with assault and weapon offenses have more than doubled in the past decade. The rise of Social Media has turned bullying and harassment into an inescapable problem for many Canadian children. We believe that fostering a sense of shared responsibility about the issues relating to youth safety in our communities is fundamental for progress to be made toward creating safer and more secure schools.
For many educators, parents and community organizations, school safety issues are evolving at a rate with which they simply cannot keep up. That’s where CSSN comes in. We are here to help teachers, schools, school boards and the community at large deal with the onslaught of youth safety and inclusion issues that we now see daily across the country.
The Canadian Safe School Network envisions a society in which all children and youth can:
- Learn and develop in a caring, accepting and harm-free environment;
- Feel empowered to competent in applying strategies to respond to school safety issues in an appropriate and safe manner; and
- Behave responsibly and accept the 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, and the municipal, provincial and federal governments to find new solutions to safety issues youth face. We are always looking for other like-minded individuals 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.