This week is Bullying Awareness Week.

Some argue that it is difficult to justify why this week we should focus on bullying prevention anymore than the rest of the year. The reality of course, is that bullying happens everyday, to more than 70% of students across Canada.

Even though bullying is an everyday reality year round, this week reminds us all of the importance of awareness and prevention. Most importantly it encourages us to find new ways of creating a culture of kindness and acceptance.  This week across the country students, teachers, parents, and entire schools are working together to put an end to bullying by speaking out and standing up. The most powerful tool we have for preventing bullying is talking about it. Bullying.org the organization that is the driving force behind Bullying Awareness Week tweeted this morning; “It’s okay to use the “B-Word” (#Bullying) during this Awareness Week. You can’t have Fire Prevention Week without discussing fire!”

This is what this week is about. It’s about creating an open dialogue on bullying. What is it? What does it look like? Why does it happen? And how can we stop it? These are the questions we encourage you to ask your students and your children. It’s important for teachers to be mindful of signs of bullying taking place in their schools and to act when you see or hear of bullying incidents.  The worst thing we can do as teachers/adults is witness bullying and do nothing about it.  This sends a message to both the children/youth bullying and those being bullied, that bullying is acceptable. This week is the perfect opportunity to integrate a discussion about bullying into your classroom. Focus on themes of kindness, acceptance, resolving problems, sharing etc. Teaching these positive themes will ultimately help create a sense of community in your classroom.

There is lots to learn this week! Keep your eyes open for fantastic resources and teaching tools for discussing bullying from a number of organizations!

And don’t forget to tell us how you and your students or children or discussing bullying. We would love to hear about the activities happening in your schools!

Stay tuned for more info about #BAW2014

 

 

Today I`m writing to you as a grade nine student who spent the day working alongside the Canadian Safe School Network. A tightly knit network that works to keep schools safe against bullying and other serious issues is school boards.

I learned how they spread word about upcoming events, such as conferences and contest to promote safe school values. I managed the social media interactions all day and got to tweet to their followers about key note speakers and getting excited for their many upcoming conferences, I learned about each conference and past events they took part in, I really felt like part of a team. Their office is part of a successful co-working space where many different companies come together to work in a very collaborative environment. An environment I would love to work in, in the future.

I greatly enjoyed my time at the office and was happy to see the affect they have on bulling and cyber bulling and how passionate they are to putting a stop to it.

Corynn

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We’re thrilled to present the completed schedule and program for the Safe & Caring Schools Forum coming up on November 24th, 2014. You can now read about all of the fantastic speakers and workshops that will be available including a keynote address from Dr. Stuart Shanker, a Youth conference component, a panel presentation on inter-agency collaboration and much more.

Click HERE for registration details

Or check out the schedule below!

Conference Schedule

7:30 AM
Registration & Breakfast

 

8:30 AM
Welcome & Opening Remarks

 

8:45 AM
Youth Welcome

Dada Mwemera, The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communitites

9:00 AM
Keynote Presentation:

Dr. Stuart Shanker

MEHRIT Centre, Ltd.

EXPANDING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE MEANING OF “SAFE”

 

There are certain unmistakable signs of when a child doesn’t feel safe: the child is very withdrawn and subdued; emotionally volatile; overly anxious; highly impulsive; inattentive, or easily distracted. Or bullying other children. It’s this last sentence that should make us suddenly sit up and realize that we need to think seriously about what we understand by “safe.” We have so much research now telling us how important it is for children’s well-being that they feel safe.  We’ve tended to interpret these findings in terms of the need to stamp out bullying; yet if bullying itself is an unmistakable sign that a child doesn’t feel safe, then what exactly does “safe” mean?

When we talk about how important it is to create safe and caring environments, we are talking about creating the kind of environment, emotional as well as physical, that turns off a child’s alarm. This produces a shift from what neuroscientists call the “survival brain” to the “learning brain.” The learning going on here doesn’t just concern what goes on in class. It’s learning about what’s going on inside your body; understanding your feelings and emotions; knowing what others are thinking and feeling; recognizing the impact of your actions and utterances on others. The problem with seeing “safe” solely in terms of stamping out bullying is that this may lead us to think that this is simply a problem of self-control. But it’s not. Children can only exercise self-control when they are calm, and that requires knowing when and why they are agitated and what they can do to return to being calm. In other words, when they self-regulate.

 

http://www.mehritcentre.com/

 

Dr. Stuart Shanker is a Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, Psychology, and Education at York University. Among his many books are Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation (2012); Human Development in the 21st  Century (with Alan Fogel and Barbara King, 2008); Early Years Study II (with J. Fraser Mustard and Margaret McCain, 2007); Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (as a member of the PDM Steering Committee, 2006); and The First Idea (with Stanley Greenspan, 2004).

Over the past decade, Shanker has served as an advisor on early child development to government organizations across Canada and the US and in countries around the world. Most recently, he served as the 2012 Thinker in Residence for Western Australia.  In Canada, he is currently the CEO of the MEHRIT Centre, Ltd., (www.mehritcentre.com), and is assisting in the rolling out of a self-regulation classroom initiative with several Superintendents under the auspices of the Ministry of Education in British Columbia, Yukon, North West Territories and Ontario.

 

10:00 AM
Keynote Presentation:

Jim Gibbons, Rakhi Pancholi, and Caroline Missal

 

WHAT’S NEW IN THE EDUCATION ACT: WELCOMING, CARING, RESPECTFUL AND SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS THAT RESPECT DIVERSITY AND FOSTER A SENSE OF BELONGING.

Are you aware of the upcoming changes to the Act and implications for students, parents and schools/boards when the Act comes into force? This session will look at the sections pertaining to welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments as well as resources available to support these changes. Opportunities will be provided for sharing and discussion.

 

Jim Gibbons, Senior Education Advisor, Education Services, Alberta School Boards Association

Senior education consultant Jim Gibbons joined the ASBA in June, 2010. He came to association from Chinook’s Edge School Division where he served as  superintendent of schools for ten years. A past president of the College of Alberta School Superintendents and the Canadian Association of School Administrators, Jim is on the governing board of the American Superintendents’ Association (AASA). He was appointed to a six-year term as chair of the Council on Alberta Teaching Standards and he serves on University of Calgary Senate. He is a member of the Inspiring Education Steering Committee.  Jim has been an Associate Faculty member for San Diego State, Royal Roads and the University of Alberta Masters’ programs.  He is a trainer/facilitator for Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Jim was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal and the EXL award for his leadership in education. He was awarded an honorary degree from Olds College at convocation in June, 2010.

Rakhi Pancholi, Lawyer, Alberta School Boards Association

 Lawyer Rakhi Pancholi comes to the ASBA after spending 8 years with the Government of Alberta, primarily with Alberta Education. She has extensive experience with the education system and legal expertise in the areas of legislative development and interpretation, administrative law, privacy law, governance issues, and aboriginal law. She played a key role in the development and drafting of the recently passed Education Act and has experience in issues related to First Nation education in Alberta. She completed her law degree at the University of Toronto and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at the University of Alberta. Outside of work, Rakhi recently added the title of “mom” to her job description and is also actively involved in animal rescue work in the Edmonton area.

Caroline Missal, Project Manager, The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities

Caroline has worked for Edmonton Public Schools as a teacher, education consultant and for 16 years as a school and district principal. With a background in special education, she is passionate about helping vulnerable children achieve success. Caroline has worked on secondment with Alberta Human Services and Alberta Education where she led initiatives related to welcoming, caring and respectful schools, including changes to the Education Act. She has done extensive work in the area of restorative justice and restorative practices in schools. She is a trained Community Conferencing facilitator and a trainer of facilitators.

 

Keynote Presentation:

Youth Presentation-Dada Mwemera & David Rust

The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND ACTION: HOW TO CONNECT, CREATE AND CONTRIBUTE WITHIN YOUR COMMUNITY!

This Youth-driven presentation will provide knowledge, skills and opportunities to plan for a future for your community with you in a leadership role.

This session will incorporate information, table discussions, time for planning in small groups, and modeling of techniques to create a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe environment.

Prior to the session we would like to have participants think about key issues at their schools or in their communities related to welcoming, caring, respectful and safe environments that they feel passionate about.

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of youth engagement strategies;
  • Learn about relevant legislation related to youth engagement and welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments;
  • Have an opportunity to discuss and begin planning youth engagement activities for their schools/communities;
  • Provide feedback on what they need in order to be engaged and engage others; and
  • Have an opportunity to continue conversations through developing communities of practice.

 

http://safeandcaring.ca/home/
11:00 AM
BREAK

 

11:15 AM
Workshop: 1A
Cyberbullying: An Effective Approach to Intervention
Sue Hopgood, Director, Engage & Mary Butlin, Principal, Dickinsfield School, Edmonton

Cyberbullying is pervasive and has the potential to affect hundreds of young people in a school.  It just takes a click of a mouse for messages to go global.  This session will discuss a case study example of a junior high and how they used the Restorative Practice of Community Conferencing to address cyberbullying.

 

Workshop: 1B
Expanding our Understanding of the Meaning of “Caring”
Susan Hopkins, Executive Director, The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities & Dr. Stuart Shanker, MEHRIT Centre, Ltd.

All children and youth are naturally predisposed to be caring: this is, in fact, a basic property of the human social brain. So instead of asking how we can teach a child to be caring (let alone force!), we need to be asking: what are the factors that are blocking this natural trait, what can we do to mitigate those factors, and how can we teach children and youth skills so that they can manage this for themselves.

 

Workshop: 1C
Championing a Mentoring Program
TBD, Alberta Mentoring Partnership

The Alberta Mentoring Partnership (AMP) invites you to learn about the growing trend of mentoring programs in school communities. Mentoring – the presence of caring individuals providing support and friendship – has proven to have a positive impact on school attendance, social skills, attitude, and behaviour. This presentation will focus on how mentoring programs benefit individuals, school communities, and families. Learn about the tools and resources available to support school-based mentoring programs and explore strength-based practices, positive youth development, resilience, and how these connect to mentoring initiatives. Join us and consider how you can be a champion for mentoring in your community!

 

12:15 PM
LUNCH/All Levels Yoga Class!

A vinyasa flow mini-class will be offered as an option for anyone looking to experience the calming effects of yoga practice on the central nervous system, to have some fun and “fill up your tank” for the afternoon sessions. Susan Hopkins, Executive Director of The Society of Safe and Caring Schools and Communities, is also a certified Yoga instructor and will lead this all levels practice. If you’d like to join in bring along some comfortable clothes and a yoga mat. All levels are welcomed!

1:00 PM
Workshop: 2A
Calm in the class: Adding to the Trauma Sensitive School Bag of Tricks
Mardi Hardt (Bernard), School Mental Health Nurse, Edmonton Public Schools & Dr. Stuart Shanker, MEHRIT Centre, Ltd.

Self-regulation, now known to be a cornerstone for lifelong success, can be especially difficult for children who have experienced complex traumas including abuse, neglect and witnessing family violence.  What can classrooms do to help to build the skills and self-awareness related to self-regulation for these children?  This session will discuss the Trauma Sensitive School practices being used in several schools in the 118th Avenue area of Edmonton.  Particular strategies for building student capacity to regulate emotions, state of physiological arousal and thinking will be discussed.

 

 

Workshop: 2B
Celebrating and Supporting Diversity in the Classroom and Community – What can you do to create a Safe and Caring environment for LGBTQ Youth?
David Rust, Director of Community Partnerships, The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities

This session will provide awareness, knowledge, skills and strategies to reduce the risk factors and increase the protective factors for LGBTQ youth and other minorities in school and community settings.

Participants will:

  • Gain awareness and understanding of issues related to sexual minority youth
  • Understand the risk factors associated with this population
  • Discuss and develop strategies to increase protective factors, resiliency and affirming connections to school and community for these youth
  • Learn about relevant legislation related to creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments for all youth
  • Access resources and communities of practice that will support further development in this area

The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities will use the information and feedback derived from this presentation in their existing and future LGBTQ presentations and project support. The feedback will also be shared with organizers of The Alberta Safe and Caring Schools Forum.

 

Workshop: 2C
Building a Restorative Culture in Your Classroom/School
Caroline Missal, Project Manager, The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities & MJ Nam, Principal, Fultonvale Elementary/Junior High School, Sherwood Park, AB

How do we build and nurture healthy relationships with and among our students?  How do we encourage our students to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do? How do we teach children and youth to take responsibility and be accountable for their actions and their words? What is it we want students to learn through our discipline practices?

Restorative practices in schools move away from more traditional punishment models to focus on relationships and repairing harm. Participants in this session will hear about:

  • principles of restorative practices;
  • how restorative practices support changes to the Education Act; and
  • one school’s experience implementing restorative principles and practices

 

2:00 PM
BREAK

 

2:15 PM
Keynote Presentation:

Moderator: David Rust

The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communites

PANEL PRESENTATION: FROM ASSETS TO ACTION-HOW TO ACHIEVE COLLECTIVE IMPACT IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Diverse panel members will take participants through their experiences of building community by progressing through stages of connection, coordination, collaboration to true integration. The panel will speak about successful initiatives’, what it takes to create and maintain them, and the impact it has on the school, students, and community at large. Participants will then be provided opportunity to discuss, plan and begin to build strategies to respond to their unique community needs and desires for progress.

Panelists:

  1. Sgt Susan Westenberger, “Start Smart, Stay Safe” Lead, Community & Youth Services Section for the Calgary Police Service
  2. Shelley Kofluk, President, and Gillian Carlberg, Vice President, of the Alberta Association of Student’s Councils and Advisors (AASCA)
  3. Michele Moulder, Executive Director of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
  4. Vicky Mamczasz, Stronger Together Project Coordinator and former Alberta Education Provincial Lead of the Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools Initiative

 

http://safeandcaring.ca/home/
3:45 PM
CLOSING REMARKS
Burkie Smiling

Many people know of Brian Burke. They have heard of his vast accomplishments and his role in the world of hockey. The current president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames, and the former GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, his work is no secret to many Canadians. Although Brian has put years of work into hockey, outside of the rink there is a group of people that Brian has worked just as hard to support. At CSSN, we want to take the chance to share with you our story of Brian Burke, and the impact he has made in helping to create safe schools, free of bullying and adversity for all children.

Brian’s mission to help children is not a new one. He has been a long standing supporter of several initiatives and philanthropic organizations. Must notably, Brian is a vocal activist against homophobia in sports, and homophobia in general. Brian speaks openly about his late son Brendan, who came out as gay when he was 20, and became known as an advocate for LGBTQ acceptance in professional sports. In honour of his son Brendan, Burke has been a spokesperson for the “You Can Play” project since it was co-founded by his son Patrick in 2011.

For the past several years, Brian has lent his hand in helping CSSN to create safe schools, and put an end to bullying. With his help, we founded the Safe Schools Hockey Pool, and the Safe Schools NHL Playoff Pool. This past September, we we’re honoured to once again have Brian join us for the 2nd annual draft event at PJ O’Brien’s pub in Toronto. In addition, to being the commissioner of our hockey pool, Brian takes on a large role in the organization and execution of this event by donating his time, his contacts, his ideas, and even his very own gold hockey seats at the ACC.

Last June, we invited supporters to join us for the Good Ole Night For Change: Facing Off Against LGBTQ Bullying, a fundraiser evening hosted by none other than Brian Burke. The proceeds of this event directly supported our efforts and resources to create safe, inclusive school spaces for LGBTQ students, and put an end to homophobic bullying across the country. Brian once again addressed the guests in attendance with an inspiring and thoughtful message of how we can help make a change for these children. (Watch Brian’s speech at this event HERE and an interview with Brian HERE.)

And it isn’t just about fundraisers. Brian has helped us reach out to educators, the front line workers and closest form of support for many struggling children. Last May, Brian gave an opening address at our Calgary Safe and Caring Schools Forum with over a hundred educators in attendance. Although not able to attend in person at the last minute, Brian made sure to send along his support via video, and reminded conference delegates that their work and support for children is essential and valued.

We would like to recognize Brian Burke for his unwavering support! He has undeniably helped us move closer to our vision of safe schools spaces for all children. His continuous donation of time and input has helped us become a better organization, and allowed us to reach out to more educators and students facing challenges. We are so very grateful to have Brian as part of our team, and look forward to many new initiatives with his help!

For more information about our work and how you can get involved, contact us at: info@canadiansafeschools.com

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The below article was originally posted by our collaborative partners The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities.The article is written by the Keynote Speaker for our upcoming Alberta Safe & Caring Forum: Policy to Practice, Dr. Stuart Shanker. Hear more from Dr. Shanker by attending our Forum on November 24th. Get in touch for more details!

FOCUS ON: Expanding our Understanding of the Meaning of “Safe”

by: Dr. Stuart ShankerThere are certain unmistakable signs of when a child doesn’t feel safe: the child is very withdrawn and subdued; emotionally volatile; overly anxious; highly impuls­ive; inattentive, or easily distracted. Or bullying other children. It’s this last sentence that should make us suddenly sit up and realize that we need to think seriously about what we understand by “safe.”We have so much research now telling us how important it is for children’s well-­being that they feel safe.  We’ve tended to interpret these findings in terms of the need to stamp out bullying; yet if bullying itself is an unmistakable sign that a child doesn’t feel safe, then what exactly does “safe” mean?

Neuroscientists have come up with an important answer to this question. They talk about neuroception: systems that lie deep in the brain, which are constantly on the lookout for threats. And these threats come in all shapes and sizes.

There are emo­tional threats; threats to our ego; threats to our sense of what is right and wrong. A look, a vocal­iz­ation, a ges­ture, even a movement can be threatening; and so too can the lack of a look, vocal­iz­a­tion, gesture or movement. Sometimes what is threatening is the demand be­ing made on us; or not knowing how what we are doing or saying will be received. Some­times what is threatening is not knowing what someone is thinking, or an action whose intention we don’t understand. Sometimes the threat comes from a group’s shared under­standing that we ourselves don’t grasp. Sometimes the threat stems from our feelings of vul­nera­bility; or being removed from our comfortable routines.

What is common to all threats is that they cause the child’s alarm system to go off, releasing a surge of adrenaline that arouses the child to fight or flee. When a child feels safe, cortisol and serotonin are released, which counteract these effects.

Children all respond differently to having an alarm that keeps being triggered or that won’t turn off. As we just saw, some become very withdrawn and subdued. Some have problems in mood and anxiety. Some become very impulsive or easily distracted. Some become aggressive. And some go through all of the above.

The reason for these different kinds of responses lies deep in a child’s biology, coupled with the child’s history of interactive experiences, starting from an incredibly young age.

When we talk about how important it is to create safe and caring environments, we are talking about creating the kind of environment, emotional as well as physical, that turns off a child’s alarm. This produces a shift from what neuroscientists call the “survival brain” to the “learning brain.” The learning going on here doesn’t just con­cern what goes on in class. It’s learning about what’s going on inside your body; understanding your feelings and emotions; knowing what others are thinking and feeling; recognizing the impact of your actions and utterances on others.

The reason why it is so important that we expand our understanding of “safe” is the shift this promotes from thinking that what children need is greater self-control to recognizing that what children really need is better self-regulation. For the above skills are what self-regulation is all about.

The problem with seeing “safe” solely in terms of stamping out bullying is that this may lead us to think that this is simply a problem of self-control. But it’s not. Children can only exercise self-control when they are calm, and that requires knowing when and why they are agitated and what they can do to return to being calm. In other words, when they self-regulate.

police

This past week yet another fatal shooting has occurred in Toronto. Stu Auty appeared on National television Tuesday morning to discuss lockdowns and crisis situations in schools.

Stu Auty on Canada AM

In face of these recent tragic events and many others that have occurred across the country, CSSN offers some insight into WHY such things are occurring and HOW they can be stopped.

The big question that many authorities, parents, and communities are asking is WHY? Why do kids carry weapons? Why do they use them? The answer is twofold. Generally speaking it is because of 1. Fear and 2. Power. In this case, it is important to remember that many students, even those carrying weapons, are victims. Victims of their society. Many students carry weapons out of fear. Fear for their safety, fear of the unknown, fear of not belonging. They also carry weapons as a form of power. They view a weapon as a way to combat the fear, and gain power.

For this reason, we believe in early intervention. Early intervention involves educating students while they are young to make educated and safe decisions, before they reach for a weapon or use violence as a form of power. If a child learns pro-social skills, learns right from wrong, values, honesty, caring, then it is highly unlikely they will reach for a weapon to solve a problem.

How to put an end to youth violence?

This is an even bigger questions. One that has no precise solution. But, there are strategies.

Parents should speak with their children. Use recent events as an opportunity to discuss and learn about lockdowns, and a hold & secure. Discuss the events with your child with the goal of reducing anxiety.

Most importantly, be aware of your child and their behaviour. Know your children’s friends, because often children become their friends. Assure that they choose their friends carefully. Notice warning signs in your children, change in attitude, not interested in attending school, change in appetite and clothing, are all indicators of a change in their environment and could mean they are putting themselves in dangerous situations.

As for educators, they should be able to share the same messages that parents are sharing. Cohesive communication from the different adults in a child’s life is essential. After an emergency situation or crisis event, stress the importance of what has occurred, and what can be learned. Often, students do not fully understand what might happen if they are carrying a weapon. Stress the impact of their actions.

Finally, we believe in preventative strategies not responsive ones. Police presence in schools and metal detectors are not concrete solutions to the problem. It is through education, and spreading positive values to young people that we will be able to make a difference, and reduce youth violence all together.

If you have questions about youth violence and what we can do to stop it. Please get in touch.
info@canadiansafeschools.com
@CndnSafeSchools

Last Thursday evening at PJ O’Brien’s Pub, hockey experts young and old gathered to take part in prestigious competition of hockey wit and strategy.

The 2nd Annual Safe Schools Hockey Pool hosted by Brian Burke was a fantastic evening! We ate, we drank, and we drafted highly skilled and competitive all-star hockey teams, with no shortage of critical analysis from our MC Nick Kypreos. We saw some good picks and some questionable ones, and we can’t wait to see how it all turns out! The fantasy season begins with the regular 2014/2015 NHL season next week, and we wish all of our teams good luck!

More important than winning the pool, of course, is the contribution you made in attending this event. With the proceeds from this fundraiser, CSSN is able to support educators and students across the country to create safe schools, free of adversity, where all children can feel comfortable and willing to learn.

So thank you!

We also want to thank our sponsors Scotiabank, Barrick Gold, and DH for making the evening happen. We were thrilled to have you not only contribute to the cause, of join us for the evening!

We had a blast, and can’t wait to see you all next year for a bigger and better Safe Schools Hockey Pool!

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Emma Watson took the to podium at the Untied Nations Headquarters in New York as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to call upon both men and women to do something in the name of gender equality.

She deliver an incredible speech, that is quickly gaining attention across the internet. And for good reason. Her impressive speech introduced the HeForShe campaign, “a solidarity movement for gender equality.”

She goes on to explain that the word “feminism” is often viewed as negative and associated with “anti-men”, and although we might not be united by the term, we are untied by the movement and the significance behind it. Most importantly, we cannot make change with only half the population. Both men and women must work to advocate for women’s rights.

We encourage you to check out the campaign.

Watch her entire speech HERE.

Toronto_Police_Service_logo2

This past Tuesday, CSSN had the opportunity to attend our very first Community Police Liaison Committee of Division 14. We are excited to be part of this community and new members of the committee!

We met many members of different organizations, including local BIAs, Residents Associations, and charities. By becoming more involved in our community we believe we can help our neighbours overcome issues pertaining to safe schools and community safety in general. The meeting provided us with knowledge about crime rates in the area as well as current police operations in place to better serve our us, including a bike safety campaign.

CSSN offered our unwavering support in local initiatives with the goal encouraging safety. We invite those member in our community to get in touch with any questions about schools in the neighbourhood, and to utilize ‘When Nobody’s listening’ tool to ask us questions of a sensitive matter.

We are also excited to be involved with the 14 Division CPLC Scholarship program! This sub-committee holds fundraisers, raising money for deserving students in the neighbourhood to use towards post-secondary education. The students can either attend school or be residents of Division 14 to qualify to apply. As part of our future goals we hope to spread the word about the scholarship to eligible students, and help with fundraising the scholarship amount.

Stay in touch as we keep you posted on great new police initiatives involving safe schools and communities!

Terrence McKillen of The Terrence & Svea McKillen Foundation welcomes the audience and introduces CBC's Mark Kelley.

We are very excited to formally announce our series of educational and professional development conferences for this school year.
We have spent our summer months thoroughly researching relevant topics in Canadian education, and planning and creating detailed workshops and interactive seminars. With students and educators back in schools, it’s time to innovate and learn. We are ready to share with you details and registration information for these fantastic conferences!

Each conference, in collaboration with provincial organizations, overviews the practices and policies relevant in their respective provinces and as well as across the country. The goal of these conferences is to share with educators new ideas and information about successful practices, initiatives and programs, as well as new policies that are making a difference in education.  We have selected an array of expert keynote speakers and workshop presenters to address relevant and interesting topics. Through interactive presentations and discussions, we strive to creative collaborative and cooperative spaces with each conference.

UPCOMING CONFERENCES:

The Alberta Safe and Caring Schools Forum: Policy to Practice-Creating Safe Spaces

Alberta Teacher’s Association
Barnett House

11010 142 Street NW
Edmonton, AB
T5N 2R1

Join us for a full day of interactive presentations and workshops that highlight the new and exciting direction of safe and caring education in Alberta. Expert speakers will discuss the most up to date information regarding safe schools policy and legislation, community collaboration and evidence based practices. Work together throughout the day with your partners and colleagues to find out how you can apply this current and relevant information to your own schools and classrooms.

 

Manitoba Safe & Caring Schools Conference: Students at the Centre

Victoria Inn and Conference Centre
1808 Wellington Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
R3H 0G3
As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that all students are provided with respectful, caring, inclusive and ultimately safe learning environments. Safe schools are fundamental to students’ emotional well-being and academic success.

This year’s conference will include panel discussions and interactive workshops on practical strategies, and evidence based approaches to help educators in metro, rural and northern divisions promote safe schools. Educators throughout the province will have the opportunity to showcase model and promising programs that are being implemented in their schools.

The 18th Annual Safe Schools Conference

Allstream Centre
105 Princes’ Boulevard
Toronto, ON 
M6K 3C3
A full day educational event featuring an array of workshops on strategies and resources to help educators build and encourage safe school practices.

This year we are thrilled to feature a key note address by Mary Gordon! Mary is an internationally recognized and award winning educator, author, child advocate and parenting expert in addition to being the founder and creator of Roots of Empathy.

 

Saskatchewan Safe & Caring Schools Conference: Focus on RELATIONSHIP-Cornerstone to Academic Success

Delta Regina
1919 Saskatchewan Drive

Regina, SK
S4P 4H2
There is more to student success than good grades. Although academic achievement is a large and very important part of every student’s school experience, as adults, we tend to make it the only focus. Safe and caring school communities begin with healthy relationships among students, staff, parents and the wider community. Every classroom and school should be a place where positive relationships are encouraged and supported. Student relationships and their relationships at home and at school are the foundation of self-confidence, resiliency, and true success at school.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadian youth 15 to 25 years of age (roughly 10.8 deaths per 100,000 in 2011). As many as 8 per cent of young people attempt suicide each year and roughly 15 per cent admit to thinking about suicide. These statistics are the scary truth.

As students settle back into the classroom this month, a child’s mental health can be drastically effective by these changes. There can be many fears and anxieties that go along with being back at school. Unfortunately bullying and cyber-bullying is still a major issue in Canadian schools, and feelings of isolation and loneliness are major causes of suicidal thoughts.  It is in addressing mental health topics among young people and fostering communities that are conducive to open discussion, we can start to make a difference and help students speak up. Parents and teachers should keep their eyes peeled for any signs of a change in behaviour since being back at school. Student’s might be separated from old friends, struggling with new school subjects, or going through the challenges of growing up. All of these issues may cause anxiety, distress and other mental health concerns for young people.

None of us are alone, however! There is always someone to talk to. As adults, be that person! Tell your students, you children, your children’s friends, that they can talk to you about anything. Ask questions. Teach your children what to look for in their friends. There are many signs in online behaviour that a young person might be in distress. Of course, youth mental health is not something you have to take on yourself. There are many organizations, (including us!) who are here to help. “When Nobody’s Listening” is our way of listening and offering help. Send us an email or give us a call with any questions about mental health, suicide prevention, or school life in general, whether you are a parent, teacher or student!

Today’s Globe and Mail contain an article address youth mental health and suicide prevention.

Our supporter Kids Help Phone offers information on suicide prevention and youth mental health.

Check out our website for specific information on bullying, anxiety and loneliness related to school, and how to create school spaces that are safe and foster positive mental health.

Last week we spent a gorgeous August day at Rattlesnake Point Golf Club for our 2nd annual Playing FORE Change tournament hosted by Dave Rogers and his team at AMP Solar Group. The event was a great success! The day was filled with a great round of golf, visits from Argos players and cheerleaders, delicious food, an impressive auction, and touching speeches. Ultimately, the event once again helped raised money for the Canadian Safe School Network, so that we may continue to help children overcome bullying at school. We can’t thank AMP Solar group enough for their help.

Here are some pictures of the 2nd Annual Playing FORE Change Tournament!

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The very first I Got Your Back Tournament hosted by Italo Sinisi of AC Simmonds and Son, was a huge success! We had a great day at the beautiful Muskoka Bay Club, the weather was perfect, and the golfing was impressive. We can not thank are supporters enough for joining us, and supporting our cause. A huge thank you to our sponsors as well for helping make the event possible, and thank you to our volunteers for helping us through out the day. Not only did the event help us raise money to create safe and caring schools across Canada, but we also left with some great new friends and supporters. Looking forward to doing it again!

See you next year!


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Stu, Renee and Katie from CSSN, with our host Italo Sinisi (above)

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Enjoying a round of golf at the beautiful Muskoka Bay Club

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Our registration table ready to go!

 

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A group of happy golfers and great supporters!

 

A couple years ago, a brave little girl named Shannon cut off her hair to donate it in order to make a wig for kids fighting cancer. Unfortunately, her brave gesture wasn’t as well received by some of her school peers.  Shannon was called names by a number of girls that were making fun of her new haircut, and it quickly digressed into a full bullying event when a number of girls joined in. What’s tragic about this story is that Shannon is not the only young child facing this sort of adversity. Bullying is a harsh reality for many students. Bullying happens at school, in the school yard, and the rise of Social Media has turned bullying, harassment & intimidation into an inescapable, 24/7 problem for many Canadian children.

Thankfully for Shannon, she had a safe environment and support system at home to help her overcome this challenge. When Shannon reached out about the hardship she was facing at school, her parents and school leaders were quick to address the issue and provide Shannon the support that she needed. Shannon’s father is Dave Rogers, the president and CEO of Amp Solar Group Inc. and although glad to have overcome this bullying incident with his daughter, Dave realized that effects of bullying can be devastating for children who don’t have the support they need.

As for Shannon, she subsequently joined the Toronto Argonaut’s Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program at her school, and was selected as the Halton Region representative that most exemplifies the values of the Huddle Up program. It was through Huddle Up that Dave found us, The Canadian Safe School Network!

Inspired by his daughter, Dave sought to make a difference. It was then that he founded the ‘Playing Fore Change’ Anti-Bullying Awareness Golf Classic. The goal for this tournament was to raise awareness and funds for CSSN, in order to help us create resources and support for children who are dealing with bullying across the country. And we could not be more grateful!

The inaugural event occurred last summer and was a huge success! The event took place at the beautiful Rattlesnake Point Golf Course in Milton, Ontario. We were joined by members of the Huddle Up program, as well as Argos cheerleaders, and many supporters. Guests enjoyed a great day of golf, cocktails, dinner and auction!

Last year’s tournament was such a successful event, we are honoured to invite you to the 2nd Annual Playing Fore Change Golf Classic! 

Once again the event is in support of creating anti-bullying awareness and resources for students across Canada who face bullying at school, at home, or online. It is thanks to Dave Rogers and his Amp Solar team that we are able to provide our services, and give students the opportunities they need to reach out and put an end to bullying.

Details for this year’s tournament:

Monday August 25th, 2014
Rattlesnake Point Golf Club
5407 Regional Road 25
Milton, ON
L9Y 2X5

To register a foursome, or for more information, please email Renee! renee@canadiansafeschools.com

or call our office: 416 977 1050

There are several sponsorship opportunities available for you and your business, including hole sponsorship & contest sponsorship! We would love to promote your organization as a proud supporter of the Canadian Safe School Network.

Thank you to Dave Rogers and Amp Solar for their generous support and hard work in putting this event together!

 

 

New Resources Section!

As part of our goal to help create safe and caring school spaces for all students, we’re re-introducing our resources section!

It’s a big job creating safe schools across Canada, so we appreciate all the help we can get! At CSSN, we felt a real need to offer more support to students, teachers and parents who are looking to maintain and create safe schools in their own communities. To do this, we’re introducing a fresh new resources section on our website!

The new section is broken down into 3 parts; Teachers, Students, & Parents. Each section offers specific information and support about a variety of different issues. Our student section focuses on helping students overcoming certain challenges they are facing at school, in the playground or on the way home. It helps students understand what bullying looks like, and all the different types of bullying that might exist. It offers them practical tips on how to get help, and overcome bullying.

Our parents and teachers section provides even more detail on how to support children who may be facing challenges at school. In addition to detailed advice on bullying, both sections offer parents and teachers respective explanations and examples of how to help a child deal with…

Cyber-Safety  
Taking A Stand  
Loneliness  
Recess Troubles  
Ratting vs. Reporting  
Staying Safe On The Way Home
Accepting Differences
Respect and Kindness
Feelings
The New School Year

and much more!

Have a look at the resources section of our website and let us know what you think! We would love to hear what you like, and what needs work. The more we know, the more we can help!
We hope you find our new resources section valuable! And thank you for helping us create safe and caring schools!

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A few weeks ago we told you about how much fun we had at The Good Ole Night For Change, a fundraiser we hosted with Brian Burke of the Calgary Flames, to end homophobic bullying.

If you missed it, don’t worry! Thanks to some fabulous supporters you’ll have a chance to see how it all went down in

this video.

Thanks to all who attended for helping make this night possible.

We’re cooking up some great new ideas for conferences and fundraisers in the upcoming school year, to get involved, get in touch!

info@canadiansafeschools.com

 

 

 

CSSN’s Think Tank

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Over the summer months, while many educators enjoy some time off, CSSN gets to work on how we can improve our services and conferences for the upcoming school year. The process involves lots of brainstorming, developing new ideas, and re-hashing the old ones. This summer, in our new office, with some new staff, we’re feeling particularly motivated to come up with some great new content.

CSSN takes pride in delivery content that is relevant to the important issues happening in the field of education right now. For years we have focused on providing training and resources on some of the most discussed topics including cyber-safety, legislation, crisis management, restorative practices, youth engagement, LGBTQ inclusion, and much more. In order to create and execute the best possible training and conferences for educators in the upcoming school year, CSSN is seeking input from educators, students and parents. We have created the Think Tank, an online campaign to source new information and ideas from the people who matter most. The idea is simple. We want to know what you, as an educator, administrator, parent or student, believe are the biggest challenges at school. We want to know what you would love to know more about. What resources would be helpful to you?

How can you share your voice? Easy! Join our Think Tank by sharing your thoughts on these questions, or any other ideas you may have, online by using Twitter, Facebook, or our website!
Reply with your answer to our daily #ThinkTank questions on our Twitter page, and Facebook page. Or message us/tweet us your own questions!
Or check out our #ThinkTank page on our website, where you can send us your own thoughts on how CSSN can work for you.

You’re input will be used to create new conference content for the upcoming year. You can look forward to CSSN conferences in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Toronto, and more cities to come!

Stay in touch! Join the #ThinkTank

Call For Volunteers!

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The Canadian Safe School Network is seeking volunteers to help us with a 50/50 night at a Toronto Argonauts home game this summer!  If you’re 18 years old or older and would like to put your sales skills to work for a great cause, this is a great opportunity!

CSSN will be the charitable beneficiary of the Argos’ 50/50 draw on Sunday, August 17th, as the Argos take on the BC Lions.

We require volunteers to sell tickets to fans at the Rogers Centre from approximately 5:30 pm until the start of the 3rd period.  Volunteers will then be able to enjoy the rest of the game from reserved seats!

If you’re an outgoing and enthusiastic individual who’d like to volunteer a few hours to a great cause, we’d love to hear from you!  Please email info@canadiansafeschools.com – for more information!

* Volunteer Reference Letters will be available for any participant who wishes or requires.
Please note there is no financial compensation.

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Katie McCabe has returned to CSSN as our new Education and Development Coordinator.

Born in Nova Scotia, Katie completed her Bachelor of Science in psychology at Dalhousie University before heading to the opposite coast where she received her Bachelor of Education from UBC. Katie has worked and volunteered with children and youth in a variety of educational settings across Canada and the UK for over 10 years.

In her new role Katie is taking the lead on CSSN’s conferences, training and educational development. She is on the look out for engaging new speakers and trainers to take part in our conferences across the country. Katie strives to develop programming that focuses on what’s new and important in the realm of education, and finds creative ways of delivering this help to teachers everywhere. She’s currently developing new opportunities for CSSN, as we look at offering our conferences and workshops in more Canadian cities. If you’re interested in being part of the work we do, have a great idea for a conference, or have a workshop you’d like to share, get in touch with Katie!

Katie@canadiansafeschools.com

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Every two years, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health conducts their survey on bullying. 10 000 Ontario students complete anonymous questionnaires addressing topics such as social behaviour, mental health and physical well-being. The results are in, and CSSN was please to find that school yard bullying rates are down 8%. A combination of awareness, and an increase in program implementation is likely the cause of the decline. Unfortunately, cyberbullying rates have not changed. Stu Auty appeared on CTV News Channel yesterday to discuss his views on the CAMH survey results, and what we can do to prevent negative online behaviour.


Stu Auty on CTV News Channel

 

We’re Moving!

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CSSN is on the move!

Due to redevelopment plans for our current office building, the Safe School Network will be relocating at the end of the month.

During the move, we will have disruptions to both our phone and email services but will do our best to return all calls and messages as promptly as possible.

As of July 1st, 2014, our new mailing address will be:

The Canadian Safe School Network
229 Niagara St.
Toronto, ON.  M6J2L5

Our phone and fax numbers will remain the same, as will our website.

t – 416.977.1050
f – 416.977.9514
www.canadiansafeschools.com

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On Wednesday, June 18th CSSN was joined by over 100 supporters and special guests to celebrate The Good Ole’ Night For Change.

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This unique event, dedicated to raising awareness about the pervasive issue of LGBTQ youth bullying, offered guests the opportunity to mix and mingle in an intimate setting with hockey greats and NHL legends. The highlight of the evening was a “hot stove” panel featuring Brian Burke, Dion Phaneuf, John Shannon, Dave Poulin & Dave Nonis, held in the most incredible sports shrine outside of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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With the generous support of The Ultimate Leafs Fan and Scotiabank, the evening also helped to raise much-needed funds to continue the ongoing work of the Safe School Network.

Our extreme gratitude goes out to our hosts for the evening, as well as to our many special guests who helped to make the evening a rousing success.

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Hosts Mike Wilson & Deb Thuett
www.ultimateleafsfan.com

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The Canadian Safe School Network is excited to offer an important one-day training workshop in conjunction with our annual Summer Certification Institute.

The CSSN Student Wellness Training Institute will be held on Wednesday, August 20th at the Horseshoe Resort, just north of Barrie, Ontario.

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With youth mental health and wellness issues on the rise it has become increasingly more important for educators and administrators to feel comfortable providing support for their students so they can create sustainable solutions to the challenges our students’ face.

In this training session, Michael Eisen, founder of the Youth Wellness Network (www.youthwellnessnetwork.ca) and author of Empowered YOUth, will break down the many mental health and wellness challenges that our youth face today and identify their root causes.

He will provide practical tools and strategies to help you understand your students on a deeper level, communicate with them from a place of empowerment and authenticity, and empower them to build a positive outlook and boost their self-esteem.

Student well-being is no longer a bonus but a necessity as the challenges our students face are not only effecting how they feel, but also can contribute to a decrease in student engagement, academic results, and even attendance.

Through his vast experience working with youth in schools across North America, Michael provides a fresh outlook on how to engage, empower and communicate with your students about wellness and how to show up at your fullest as a positive role model on a day to day basis.

Details about this important one-day event, as well as quick & easy registration, can be found HERE.

And don’t forget to register your new administrators and those looking for a refresher in this year’s Safe Schools Certification Institute! You can register online at canadiansafeschools.com or download a printable registration form HERE.

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CSSN started off the week as the grateful recipient of a generous donation from our friends at CIBC Children’s Foundation.

CSSN was pleased and proud to present a special workshop from Count Me In founder Shane Feldman about his own experiences with bullying and how he turned negative situations into positives and success. Over 100 CIBC employees joined us for this special “Lunch & Learn” presentation.

CIBC Children’s Foundation is a registered charity responsible for distributing funds raised on CIBC Miracle Day and was founded on the belief that by working with our clients, employees and children’s charities, we can make a difference to children in need.

The Foundation has four key objectives. It seeks to:

- Improve the quality of life for children in need in the communities served by CIBC’s wholesale banking business and CIBC Wood Gundy.
- Demonstrate our dedication to helping prepare Canadian children for future success.
- Build awareness of the Foundation’s commitment to children with internal and external stakeholders.
- Encourage volunteerism and foster community engagement on the part of our employees.

Our thanks to our friends at CIBC for their ongoing support and encouragement!

If you would like CSSN to visit your workplace, school or community organization, please contact dave@canadiansafeschools.com.

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CSSN President Stu Auty is presented with a generous donation from CIBC Children’s Foundation on Monday, May 26th.

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CSSN is proud to be a longstanding partner of The Toronto Argonauts in the Huddle Up bullying prevention program.  Designed for students in grade 3 to 12, Huddle Up sees Toronto Argonaut Players, Cheerleaders, and program staff, working together to powerfully support and covey our bullying prevention messages for both targets and bystanders.

On May 22nd, the annual Huddle Up Summit was held at the University of Toronto. Huddle Up student committees from schools across Toronto joined Argos players, cheerleaders, Varsity Blues team members, Huddle Up staff and CSSN for a half-day brainstorming session that provides students with an open forum to share their school’s perspective on leadership, bullying and violence in schools.

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It was our pleasure to be a part of such an inspirational and energetic event! We look forward to kicking off another successful year of the Huddle Up program in September. In the meantime, GO ARGOS GO!

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For more information on the Huddle Up program and booking, please visit www.argonauts.ca/huddeup or contact:
Christine Nicholson
Coordinator, Education and Community Programs
huddleup@argonauts.ca

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Are you looking for a way to lend your support to CSSN? Here’s how YOU can help US help a thousand Canadian students with just one click of your mouse!

We have an Inspired Idea entered in the CST Inspired Minds Learning Project competition and we need your help – and your votes – to make it a reality. Our Inspired Idea has the potential to reach over a thousand Canadian students under the age of 10 with a unique early intervention program that will bring positive mental health & behaviour supports directly to their schools.

You can view our idea online at http://learningproject.cst.org/ideas/137 and vote for us beginning at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, May 20th!

With your help, we can help over a thousand kids in schools who may not be able to afford programs like this on their own!

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Here’s a glimpse of our Inspired Idea:

The Canadian Safe School Network works with schools across the country, striving to create safe, caring & inclusive learning environments for all of our youth. We know, as parents & educators do, that youth mental health and suicide are major concerns to everyone who works with children. We also know that early intervention methods are the best way of preventing future problems. While we would love to take our messages of positive behaviour & healthy relationships to every classroom in Canada, this is simply something that our budget-stricken education system can’t afford right now. We want to take our message directly to elementary school students under 10 years old. Our plan is to visit as many schools as possible with a team of positive, engaging young speakers who have lived through the worst bullying and mental health situations imaginable so that they can talk to and inspire Canadian kids. We want to leave every student we visit with the tools, the power and the WILL to take the initiative to engage in healthy relationships with peers, parents & educators and to create and sustain a school environment where everyone feels safe to talk openly about their feelings and their personal challenges.

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The recipient of this year’s Canadian Safe School Network – TD Bank Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Bullying, Michael Dinel of Western Canada High School in Calgary, AB., addressed the audience at today’s raising of the Pride Flag & declaration of the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia at Toronto City Hall.

On behalf of CSSN, TD Bank and all members of the award selection committee, we would like to extend our congratulations to the members of the GSA at Western High who have worked diligently and with dedication to create inclusion and acceptance not only within their school – but across their community!

It was a great honour for CSSN to have Michael here in Toronto and to have him make such a passionate and empowering speech at today’s City Hall event.

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The Canadian Safe School Network is proud to be participating in this year’s Dare To Stand Out: Canada’s National Gender & Sexual Minorities Service Providers Summit.

This fantastic event, presented by Jer’s Vision, will take place in Toronto from June 22nd – 24th.

This event is history in the making and will mark the second time that we are all coming together to meet, discuss, and work together to create a strong national vision for the Canadian GSM Service Provider community.

The Summit will kick-off with the Youth Solidarity Symposium on June 22nd, hosted by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and the Art Gallery of Ontario at the learning centre of the AGO. A reception will follow.

Summit programming runs from June 23-24 at Ryerson University, in the Rogers Communications Centre and Kerr Hall.

For full information about the DTSO Summit or to submit your registration, simply click HERE.

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Beginning next TUESDAY, you can help CSSN achieve our next safe schools goal!

We’ll be asking you to share & vote for our “Take The Right Steps” idea in the CST Inspired Minds Learning Project and help us get the support we need to introduce this amazing new youth mental health support program into elementary schools!

Watch this space, as well as our Twitter & Facebook, for updates on our progress and how you can help us achieve this important goal!

Full details about this exciting initiative can be found HERE.

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This week’s Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum in Calgary was the subject of a great deal of local media attention.

We were very pleased to chat with numerous radio stations throughout Alberta, as well as Global Calgary, who featured the Forum on the evening news.

You can read the Global article and view the full story HERE.

Thank You Alberta!

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The Canadian Safe School Network was proud to partner with Alberta’s Safe & Caring and the Alberta Teachers’ Association to present The Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum in Calgary on Monday, May 12th.

Delegates & student attendees were treated to a keynote address by Carol Todd of The Amanda Todd Legacy, along with presentations from NHL legend Sheldon Kennedy, Olympic Silver Medalist Dave Calder, celebrated First Nations Youth Engagement speaker Michael Champagne and Alberta’s Associate Minister of Family & Community Safety Sandra Jansen.

Our thanks to all of our speakers, supporters and participants for helping to create an incredible day of learning, sharing and collaborating!

We look forward to returning to Alberta for another Safe & Caring Schools Forum!

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Earlier this week, educators, social workers and more from across the province gathered in Toronto for our “It’s A Girl’s World” conference. Delegates were treated to moving, inspirational & educational presentations from a wide variety of speakers, all of whom joined us to examine the myriad of issues affecting young girls in schools & communities today.

Keynote speaker Jeff Perera from White Ribbon, along with Kim Katrin Milan, Debbie Chiodo, Mary Koziol & Andrew Pettit of McMaster University, Sheena’s Place representatives Joanna Anderson & Ali Henderson and a panel of LGBTQ young women all contributed powerfully to make this day a success.

We are so grateful to all of our speakers & presenters – and to all those who attended this event. The day was filled with positive, engaging conversation – and we hope everyone took something away that they can implement in their classrooms or daily lives to help create more safe, inclusive spaces for young girls everywhere.

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The Canadian Safe School Network is very pleased and excited to announce the winner of this year’s CSSN/TD Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying.

We received many outstanding submissions and our selection committee had the daunting task of evaluating each and every project, video, essay and piece of artwork. We were overwhelmed with what we saw. There is some amazing work going on in Canada to promote inclusion and acceptance.

The winner of this year’s CSSN/TD Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying is Michael (Mike) Dinel and the GSA from Western Canada High School in Calgary, Alberta!

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We would like to extend our congratulations to the members of the GSA at Western High who have worked diligently and with dedication to create inclusion and acceptance not only within their school – but across their community!

The presentation of this year’s CSSN/TD Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying will take place in Toronto on Friday, May 16th, to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia.

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Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Week in Canada. In recognition of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 63rd Mental Health Week, CSSN invited some of our friends to share their stories with us – so we could share them with you.

When Anxiety Is More Than A Bad Day: One Canadian’s Mental Health Journey

From the moment I could walk and talk I felt like I didn’t fit in. I was born into a family that was considered to be quite “normal” and I was not. From a young age I was labelled as a “spirited” child, which was really a polite way of saying I didn’t listen to anything or anyone and had to live life to the beat of my own drum.

Unfortunately it was not just at home that I felt different, but at school as well. I was bullied the better part of my grade school and high school years, and no matter how hard I tried to “fit in” I never did. When I got into High school I developed severe anxiety which seemed to be created from my fear of judgment from my peers.

After many years of trying so hard to be liked and accepted and never getting what I was longing for, when I got into grade 11, I gave up. The entire year I felt incredibly depressed and spent the majority of my free time trying to escape my problems in front of the TV.

The fear of judgment made it so hard for me to tell anyone what I was going through because I was concerned it would somehow backfire and make things worse. I luckily got through that year, thanks to the company of my family dog (I know it may sound corny but he truly provided what I desperately needed – a loving and understanding companion). As I entered my last year of high school I decided that my only way through was to work extremely hard and get good enough grades to get into university, move away, and leave all my problems behind.

For the first time in my life I tried really hard at school and got the grades I needed, but the pressure I put on myself to get the grades created this uncontrollable stress that ultimately led to a stomach sickness. Now I was not only in a dark place mentally and emotionally but physically too.

Although I got my acceptance into university and moved away from home, the problems I thought I would leave behind ended up following me. Unfortunately I was not taught any tools or strategies to overcome my challenges with depression, anxiety and stress and when I arrived at University, although my social life bloomed and expanded so too did the stress about grades and the fear of judgment from others.

It finally got to a point where I could not handle it anymore, and in my first semester of second year I ended up having a complete break-down. Remarkably though it was in this state that something shifted for me; I realized that this was not the life I wanted to live and that if anything was going to change that it had to start with me. I also witnessed my father go through a massive transformation in his life after dealing with his own mental and emotional health issues and became inspired by the possibility of changing my own life too. I started having conversations with him and learned that if I wanted to make changes in my life, I needed to make different choices. But before that, I had to become more aware of my thoughts, words, actions and habits.

As my awareness increased I realized that a lot of my mental health issues were being created within my own head. I also realized that I looked to other people to make me feel better about myself and it wasn’t until I started to give to myself what I wanted the most from others (respect, love, appreciation, etc.) that my self-esteem and confidence began to skyrocket and my fear of judgment slowly disappeared.

9 years after my breakdown, I am on a mission to provide the same tools and strategies that I learned that helped me turn things around. I travel all across Canada sharing my story and strategies for overcoming and preventing mental health and well-being challenges in hopes that I can empower and inspire youth to overcome their greatest challenges and avoid going through what I did.

In my opinion, the key to overcoming our greatest challenges is in recognizing that our choices not our circumstances create our experiences – so let’s make every one count!

Michael Eisen is the founder of the Youth Wellness Network and a mental health and wellness trainer for The Canadian Safe School Network. For more information on his school programs go to www.youthwellnessnetwork.ca or visit him on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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On Friday, May 2nd, CSSN was thrilled to present our first ever Safe Schools Certification Training in the province of Quebec.

Presented in collaboration with the English Montreal School Board, CSSN traveled to Quebec to deliver a full-day training on safe schools issues and legislation. It was an honour to speak to over 65 educators from a variety of backgrounds and to share the Safe Schools message!

If you are interested in bringing Safe Schools training to your board, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Educators will also wish to consider attending the annual Safe Schools Certification Institute held each summer at the Horseshoe Resort north of Barrie, Ontario. This annual training event attracts administrators, principals & VPs, social workers, CYWs, guidance counsellors, Parent Council members and teachers from across the country.

Full details and registration for this year’s Institute can be found HERE.

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CSSN is excited to announce that Count Me In founder Shane Feldman has been added to the lineup for The Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum!

The Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum, presented in association with The Society for Safe & Caring Schools & Communities and the Alberta Teachers’ Association, will be held on May 12th in Calgary.

Named one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 in 2013, Shane is a teenager committed to making the world a better place. As founder and executive director of Count Me In, the largest youth-run initiative promoting volunteerism, he has inspired young people across North America to get involved and create positive change in their communities as well as in their own lives.

It all began when 13-year-old Shane turned a dark freshman year into an uplifting national movement. With the help of his guidance counsellor, Mr. Conte, Shane signed up for every club, council and school initiative that matched his hobbies and interests. Getting involved ended up being Shane’s secret to happiness during that difficult transition. By Grade 9, he was not only recognized as the most involved student at his school, but Shane was also juggling over 500 community service hours, maintaining academic honour roll status, and working multiple part time jobs.

It didn’t take long before he found himself noticing the lack of involvement in his own school and he asked his principal if he could organize a “Motivational day” to improve student engagement. Shane and his friends began planning the event but little did they know that this initiative would turn into “Count Me In Conference”, the annual landmark student empowerment day. Today, Shane is thrilled to be training students to become stronger leaders, motivating them to follow their passions and make a difference. Shane is also a spokesperson for World Vision Canada, and works actively with the Canadian Cancer Society, Right To Play, Plan Canada, and Earth Day Canada. He is committed to promoting the positive impact that students can make today.

Educators & students alike attending the Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum will be moved to action by Shane’s passion and commitment to inspiring Canadian youth to self-engage to create stronger communities and better lives.

Shane joins a lineup that includes Carol Todd, 4-time Olympian Dave Calder, NHL legend Sheldon Kennedy, Dr. Kristopher Wells & Associate Minister of Family & Community Safety Sandra Jansen.

Learn more about The Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum HERE.

About Bullies

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Everyone has a different reaction and call to action about bullying. We frequently receive updates from friends and supporters around the country on their own efforts to promote safe schools and create inclusive communities where every child can feel safe.

From songs & videos to plays & essays, it’s inspiring to see how Canadians respond to bullies in their lives and schools.

A community member recently sent us the following poem, along with a generous donation to support the ongoing efforts of the Huddle Up Against Bullying program, presented by The Toronto Argonauts & CSSN.

About Bullies!

A bully is a person who,
Instead of shouting “Rah!” yells “Boo!”
Bullies never feel ashamed
‘Bout calling someone else a name.

To them it’s just a funny game.
But if a bully starts to bully you,
Don’t stand there and take it,
- there’s lots that you can do!

Martin Kramer, © 2014

Support Camp fYrefly!

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Camp fYrefly is Canada’s only national leadership retreat for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, two-spirited, intersexed, queer, questioning, and allied youth. The Camp, which was founded in 2004 by Dr. André P. Grace and Dr. Kristopher Wells, is designed to help youth develop the leadership skills and personal resiliency necessary for them to become agents for positive change in their schools, families, and communities.

Applications are now open to attend all Camp fYrefly locations in Edmonton, Calgary, and Regina!

You can apply online to become a youth camper, youth leader, adult volunteer, or workshop presenter at:  www.fyrefly.ualberta.ca

Camp fYrefly simply would not exist without the support of many generous individuals, community organizations, churches, businesses, and corporations from across North America. Annual camp operating costs are in excess of $50,000.

These funds are raised from a variety of sources, which include fundraisers, community partnerships, grants, and our highly successful “Send a Kid to Camp program”. For a $300.00 donation, you can help one youth to attend Camp fYrefly. Help send a kid to camp and give them the chance you never had!

You can learn more about Camp fYrefly at  www.fyrefly.ualberta.ca/SupportfYrefly.  

All donations in support of Camp fYrefly are eligible to receive a charitable tax deduction receipt from the University of Alberta.

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On Thursday, April 17th, CSSN kicked off the long weekend with The Safe Schools NHL Playoff Pool. Held at the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto and hosted by Brian Burke, this exciting event helped raise important funds to continue our important work.

With the support of the Trillium Auto Dealers Association and Olympic Honda, over 80 participants picked their division and Stanley Cup winners, enjoyed the hospitality of the Royal York and spent the evening bidding on incredible prizes – including Leafs tickets, lunch with NHLers, hotel stays and more.

Thank you to all of our supporters and participants. We hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did – and we can’t wait to see who wins it all!

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Emcee Joe Bowen kicks off the night

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CSSN President Stu Auty addresses the audience, with supporters Brian Burke, Stephanie Beirne, Joe Bowen & Steve Craig at his side

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Joe Bowen and CSSN volunteer Andrew Caterine of Filo Entertainment review the picks

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CSSN’s Renee gets some love from our emcee, Joe Bowen. Follow Renee on Twitter for tips & updates – @CSSNRen!

#DayOfPink

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CSSN is pleased and proud to support Canada’s annual Day Of Pink!

The Day of Pink started in Nova Scotia, when 2 students saw a gay peer wearing pink being bullied. The 2 students stood up for the student that day, but wanted to do more following the incident. A couple of weeks later they got everyone in school to wear pink to raise awareness about bullying, and how standing together can stop bullying, homophobia and transphobia.

Today, millions of youth and adults wear pink to celebrate diversity and the importance of standing together against all forms of discrimination.

Show your support by wearing pink today – and by using the hashtag #DayOfPink on social media. Together we can put a stop to discriminatory bullying and create a Canada where every student feels safe, welcome & included!

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On behalf of our friends at Blue Wave, we are pleased to share information about the launch of this year’s Janice Lee Blue Wave Bursary – a fantastic opportunity for British Columbia-based young people aged under 19.

This year Blue Wave will be awarding two bursaries of up to $700 each, to young people who have experienced a mental health or substance use problem and are going on to higher education. The vision of the Janice Lee Blue Wave bursary program is to invest in the resilience, wisdom and potential of young people and to reduce some of the barriers during the major transition from high school to higher education.

The vision of the Janice Lee Blue Wave bursary program is to invest in the resilience, wisdom and potential of young people and to reduce some of the barriers during the major transition from high school to higher education.

The online application form is available now, and the deadline for applications is May 15, 2014.

All the information you will need, as well as the application form, can be found HERE.

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There is no doubt that we live in the “Age of the Selfie.” We know our kids are going to post images online, no matter what we tell them … but we can try to make sure they’re posting them relatively safely.

On April 9th, CSSN will present the keynote address at Downsview Secondary School’s Anti-Bullying Day, focused on smart social media use and internet safety

Check out @CSSNRen’s brand new infographic with helpful tips for students who just can’t help but post those mirror shots & group selfies on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!

CssnRen Guide to Keeping it Private

To book a CSSN presentation or keynote speaker, just let us know!

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CSSN is always pleased and honoured to welcome new supporters!  We love to meet others who share our commitment to providing timely and important education and professional development to foster safe & caring schools and communities across Canada.

We are very pleased to announce the addition of AMP Solar Group as a key supporter of the Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum to be held in Calgary on May 12th.

AMP Solar Group is a solar energy developer, owner and operator. Their mission is to create geographically focused structured portfolios of renewable energy assets that have attractive risk adjusted return profiles for our institutional long-term equity partners. The AMP team offers extraordinary expertise in renewable energy project development, M&A, finance, risk management, trading and construction management.

AMP Solar Group will also present the 2nd Annual “Playing Fore Change” Charity Golf Tournament to benefit The Canadian Safe School Network in August 2014.

We look forward welcoming AMP Solar – and YOU – to the Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum in May!

For more information about how your organization can support The Canadian Safe School Network and our events, please contact dave@canadiansafeschools.com.

 

 

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Through the generous support of TD Bank, CSSN is excited to announce The 2014 Canadian Safe School Network/TD Award For Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying.

This award will be presented to a publicly-funded school, elementary or secondary, that has demonstrated excellence in the development, creation or promotion of an in-school initiative to counter LGBTQ bullying.   The successful recipient school will be awarded a financial prize of $2500.00 CDN.

Examples of potential applicable initiatives could include, but not be limited to:

- Exceptional work by a school-based GSA or organization in the promotion of inclusion and safety for LGBTQ students
- Creating a play, presentation, artwork, or video promoting anti-LGBTQ bullying

Criteria

  • Any publicly funded school, elementary or secondary, in Canada (not including Quebec) is eligible to submit an application *
  • Initiative or extraordinary achievement must have taken place during the 2013/2014 academic year.
  • Initiative must have direct correlation to LGBTQ bullying or LGBTQ inclusion/school safety issues
  • A representative of the recipient school should ideally be available to attend a CSSN or partner event in Toronto in conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia on or around May 17th, 2014.


Applicants must include the following with their application:

  • Nomination Form, completed in its entirety
  • Nominator’s written description of the nominee’s contribution to safe schools, focused on anti-LGBTQ bullying (no more than 250 words)
  • Nominee’s qualifying essay of up to 500 words in length, describing his/her contribution to the reduction of LGBTQ bullying. The essay should briefly outline the circumstances that motivated this initiative, what learning was derived from the experience and what was accomplished
  • Any relevant supporting documentation, materials, web links, etc.


Application Deadline

All completed applications must be received no later than April 18th, 2014.

The complete application package can be mailed to:

Dave Fraser
Director of Public Relations & Social Media
The Canadian Safe School Network
111 Peter St., Suite 116
Toronto, ON.   M5V2H1

The completed application package can also be emailed to:
dave@canadiansafeschools.com

Application Package

The full application documents can be downloaded HERE.

Presentation

The award will be formally presented at a CSSN or partner event in Toronto in conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia on or around May 17th, 2014.

* La Fondation Jasmin Roy will present a parallel award in the province of Quebec.

 

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CSSN is thrilled to announce the closing keynote speaker for the upcoming Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum will be four-time Olympic rower and Olympic Silver Medalist Dave Calder!

Dave Calder has rowed for 22 years and has represented his community, his province and our country with honour and pride. Along with his Olympic Silver Medal performance in Beijing 2008, he has won 9 National Championship titles, 9 World Cup medals, and 3 World Championship titles. He has raced on 3 continents, in 14 countries, and at over 40 international competitions.

Over his 35 years on this planet, it has been through the positive exposure to role models and mentors that has given Dave the foundation to find success.  Many people have filled the role over the course of my life: his Granddad, his grade three teacher, Olympic gold-medalist Darren Barber and his wife are but a few.  They have inspired Dave and they have held him up when he couldn’t take another step: Dave exists today because of all of the influences on my life these people have had.  Each one teaching him that anything is possible – anything – with a positive attitude, hard work, and support.

Dave will speak to our Alberta audience about the key role sport & activity play in developing self-esteem, self-respect and lifelong positive behaviour, drawing on his own personal experiences and what brought him to the level of success he has achieved.

Presented in Association with The Alberta Teachers Association, TD Bank , TELUS WISE and The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities, the Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum will be held on May 12th in Calgary, AB.

Full program and registration information can be found HERE or you can download a printable registration form and fax your information to 416.977.9514.

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CSSN is always pleased and honoured to welcome new supporters!  We love to meet others who share our commitment to providing timely and important education and professional development to foster safe & caring schools and communities across Canada.

We are very pleased to announce the addition of TELUS WISE as a key supporter of the Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum to be held in Calgary on May 12th.

TELUS WISE is a unique educational program focused on internet and smartphone safety to help keep families safer from online criminal activity such as financial fraud and cyberbullying. This program is available to Canadian adults/parents, educators and kids.

You can learn more about TELUS WISE online at www.telus.com/wise.

We look forward welcoming TELUS WISE – and YOU – to the Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum in May!

For more information about how your organization can support The Canadian Safe School Network and our events, please contact dave@canadiansafeschools.com.

An Amazing Gift!

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The Canadian Safe School Network was thrilled and honoured to be presented with a brand new Honda CRV by Olympic Honda of Guelph, Ontario, yesterday.

The donation of this vehicle, presented by Ron Turcotte and Sarah Werner of Olympic Honda, ensures that CSSN will be able to continue delivering valuable and important Safe Schools programming to schools and organizations throughout the GTA and Southern Ontario.

Our most appreciative thanks to the staff of Olympic Honda for this incredible gift – and to all of our sponsors and supporters for understanding the value of the work we do and helping us to continue expanding our services!

Look for the “CSSN-Mobile” coming to a school near you!

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CSSN President Stu Auty accepts the gift of a new Honda CRV
from Ron Turcotte & Sarah Werner of Olympic Honda.

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The Canadian Safe School Network is excited to announce a one-day PD event dedicated to exploring issues affecting school-aged girls and the unique challenges they face on a daily basis in both the classroom and the community!

Growing up in the digital age, facing the pressures of an often-misogynist media, and trying to stand out from the crowd can be daunting for 21st century girls. Our adolescent girls endure daily challenges that we never could have imagined two decades ago. From dating violence to online intimidation to depression & suicide, the myriad of issues faced by girls in our schools and communities can seem insurmountable.

Make plans to join CSSN for a one-day conference to examine the many issues affecting young girls today, including relational violence, hyper-sexualization, social aggression, sexual harassment & exploitation, eating disorders and depression.

Featured Speakers Include:

Jeff Perera, White Ribbon Campaign
Kim Katrin Crosby, The People Project
Debbie Chiodo, CAMH (The Centre for Addiction & Mental Health)
Mary Koziol & Andrew Pettit, McMaster University
Journalist Andrea Houston
Joanna Anderson & Ali Henderson, Sheena’s Place

Full program information & registration can be found online at www.canadiansafeschools.com/events/29/  or you can download a faxable registration form HERE.

CSSN Recommends:

bullystop

Bully Stop Now: A School Superintendent Tells You How is a brand new book by very recently retired (August, 2013) school superintendent Greg Anderson.

This highly informative book provides details on the following topics:

  • Types of Bullying Who Gets Bullied and Why Steps to Take When Dealing With the Principal
  • How to Get Action from School Authorities Ineffective Principals – Bullying is NOT Stopped
  • Why Many Principals Do Not Deal Well With Bullying
  • Cyberbullying
  • Girl Bullying
  • What Doesn’t Work in Bullying Prevention
  • Thirteen Point Bullying Prevention Plan for Schools
  • Quick Tips for Parents Regarding Bullying
  • Quick Tips for Principals When Dealing with Student Bullying
  • Why Anti-Bullying Laws Don’t Work
  • Myths About Bullying

This book is the first to write about bullying from a perspective gained from over 27 years of direct, practical, elementary and secondary school experience that pinpoints how critically important the role of the school principal is in combating bullying in schools.

You can learn more about and order Greg’s book HERE.

TYC

Do you have a BIG IDEA? The TYC is looking for young leaders with BIG IDEAS to develop and advance them through 6 focus areas.

• City Council Engagement
• Community Engagement
• Municipal Policy Development
• Community Safety
• TYC Communications
• TYC Special Events

As a new TYC leader you will lead or participate in one of 6 working groups that will provide youth with opportunities to develop
their skills and passions. TYC leaders will be mentored by City Staff to activate a 6 month action plan that will provide unique learning experiences and have a positive impact in the lives of Toronto Youth.

Interested youth can download the application form HERE. Please note the deadline of Friday, March 28th.

stu

A new Canadian study shows that cyberbullying is growing up alongside its victims and perpetrators. Research out of Simon Fraser University suggests that the online abuse that has been so prevalent on the teenage battlefield is carrying through to the arena of adults at Canadian universities.

CSSN President Stu Auty appeared on CTV News Channel today to discuss the findings of the new study, to be presented at a Vancouver symposium on March 12th.

The study shows not only cyber-harassment among students but among staff and faculty with the aggressors being both students and colleagues.

Additional studies on the topic will be released later this year.

You can view CTV News Channel’s full interview with Stu Auty HERE.

yyc

CSSN, in proud association with The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities, TD Bank and the Alberta Teachers Association, are excited to announce details of a one-day conference to be held in Calgary this spring!

Educators, parents, media and organizations like the Canadian Safe School Network & The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities have spent the past few years reacting to an onslaught of bullying issues and dealing with the impact of tragic situations. The solutions lie not in punishments and consequences – but in prevention. We must educate our youth – and ourselves – to foster inclusion and healthy relationship development to create safe, caring school and community environments. The prevention of violent behaviour, harassment and tragedy can be found in empowering youth to become engaged and mobilized members of our diverse Canadian community.

Join us as we host this important one-day event bringing together expert speakers to discuss issues of LGBTQ Youth Acceptance & Inclusion, First Nations Youth Engagement & Opportunities, the Personal Consequences of Online Harassment, Resiliency and Positive Mental Health and much more.

Speakers at this exciting event will include:

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Carol Todd
The Amanda Todd Legacy

Dr. Kristopher Wells
Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, University of Alberta

Michael Redhead Champagne
Founder, Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO!)

And Opening Addresses from

Associate Minister of Family & Community Safety
The Hon. Sandra Jansen

and

Honorary Conference Chair
Brian Burke
The Calgary Flames

Burkie Smiling

Through the generous support of TD Bank, we are pleased to present a concurrent full-day Student Conference. Students will participate in our opening and closing addresses and be treated to workshops and presentations designed specifically for them.

Student speakers will include the WiseGuyz, fYrefly in Schools, the Speak Out initiative … and hockey legend Sheldon Kennedy!

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A limited number of FREE student spaces are available – so register your group today or contact CSSN directly for more information.

Further information and online registration can be found HERE … or you can download a faxable registration form HERE.

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You asked, we answered! Our educator partners have told us they want MORE events & PD focused on Youth Mental Health.

Every educator faces a daily struggle with preparing themselves, their students and their classroom for appropriately integrating youth with Mental Health and Special Education needs … and it’s time to change the way we talk about Mental Health and Special Education.

Join us in Hamilton, ON., this April 29th for an important one-day Forum on Youth Mental Health & Special Education Issues.

Let us help you prepare yourself, your class, and your physical space for appropriate inclusion and integration to make EVERYONE feel welcome, safe & secure at school!

For further information and to register, CLICK HERE or download a REGISTRATION FORM and send it in to us by fax or email.

city

Toronto police are investigating a Twitter account that purported to expose the sexual behaviour of high school students – a fate that some of its 1,500 teenage followers believe the victims “deserve.”

The account was recently suspended after concerned teens flagged it to the Toronto District School Board, the city’s Catholic school board and the police.

The Canadian Press is not naming the account because in a cached version – a snapshot of the web page – names of minors linked to alleged sexual activities are still visible.

CSSN’s Dave Fraser appeared on CITY TV’s “The 5” on Friday evening to discuss the case and to provide tips on how students, parents and peers can combat this type of dangerous cyber-behaviour.

You can view the full interview HERE.

Family Day Holiday

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Please note: the CSSN office will be closed on Monday, February 17th, to observe Ontario’s Family Day holiday.

We will re-open on Tuesday, February 18th.

We hope everyone enjoys a safe & relaxing long weekend!

students

On February 10th, CSSN was privileged to present a full day conference called Safe & Caring Schools: The Power of One in Winnipeg, MB. Over 100 delegates from across the province joined us for a day of learning and networking that featured some amazing speakers and performers.

Among those who participated was a group of high school students from Sisler High School who discussed their own experiences and presented details of a new app they’ve developed, focused on youth mental health, as part of their independent study unit which has been garnering a great deal of attention.

CTV News was onsite to interview the Sisler students, who had a chance to share their development and their experiences with keynote speaker Carol Todd.

You can view the full interview HERE.

Trillium

Nominations are now being accepted for The Premier’s Awards for Accepting Schools in Ontario.

The Premier’s Awards for Accepting Schools recognizes exceptional and innovative work being done in schools to create a safe and accepting school environment.

The Premier’s Awards for Accepting Schools recognize those teams across the province that have done exceptional and innovative work in creating a safe, inclusive and accepting school environment.

The award recognizes schools that have demonstrated initiative, creativity and leadership in promoting a safe, inclusive and accepting school climate.

You can download an application form HERE.

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Today is the “Early Bird” Deadline to register for The 9th Annual Saskatchewan Safe Schools Conference!

Join us at the Travelodge Saskatoon on March 21st for a full day of valuable presentations and workshops on a wealth of topics related to resiliency, relationships, engagement, inclusion and acceptance, social-emotional development and mental health needs of students.

This year’s conference features two incredible keynote speakers:

Gabrielle Scrimshaw
Co-Founder, Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada

and

Michael Eisen
Founder, The Youth Wellness Network

For almost a decade, the Canadian Safe School Network has hosted this important event in Saskatoon, providing training, new ideas, best practices and concrete solutions to educators, law enforcement, government employees, community members and parents.  We look forward to having you join us on March 21st!

Further information about the Conference can be found online HERE.  You can also download a copy of the Conference Registration Brochure HERE.

Group Discounts Are Available! Please contact us directly for details!

Our Kids Online

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In 2013, MediaSmarts conducted a survey exploring networked technologies and youth. The national survey asked 5,436 Canadian students, grade 4 through 11, questions that shed light on a variety of different and relevant topics including privacy, digital permanence, bullying, commercialization, offensive content, online relationships and digital literacy in the classroom and in the home. The results were published in Young Canadians in a Wired World – Phase III: Life Online.

In this detailed report some points of interest include accessibility. 99 percent of students are able to access the internet outside of school, and portable devices are used more than desktops to get online. 85% of the students in grade 11, half the students in grade 7 and a quarter of the students in grade 4 have cell phones. What are they doing online? The survey states creative uses of digital media, such as posting videos are uncommon. Instead, students use digital media as a source of information and most predominantly used for entertainment and communicating with friends and family. The survey found that students’ favourite websites are primarily places where they can chat with friends and share photos and videos, the most common being YouTube.com and Facebook.com.

When it comes to internet safety the majority of students in all grades agree with the statement that “The Internet is a safe place for me.” However, girls are less likely to view the internet as a safe place than boys (51% compared to 61%).

The survey also took an in-depth look at parental involvement to see if modern changes in the way parents raise their children are affecting students’ digital habits. Eighty-four percent of students report that they have household rules about their online activity but girls are more likely than boys to have household rules suggesting their activities are generally more regulated.

The results of the survey concluded by providing some refreshing information about unplugging. Ninety-four percent of students choose to go offline to do other things, like spend more time with friends or family, enjoy some quiet time by themselves or go outside.

The Power of One: Winnipeg

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Winnipeg, we’re coming!  In less than a month, CSSN will present “Safe & Caring Schools: The Power of One” … and we can’t wait!

Join us for a full day of presentations & performances related to resiliency, healthy relationships, social-emotional development and the mental health needs of our youth!

Featuring performances by Keith & Renee and FLO, this fantastic one-day event will kick off with presentations by Dr. Edmond Dixon, author of Helping Boys Learn, and Carol Todd, founder of The Amanda Todd Legacy.

You can register yourself, your staff or your class on our website – or get the downloadable registration form HERE.

Safe & Caring Schools: The Power of One is proudly presented in association with Safe Schools Manitoba.

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Late last year CSSN’s Dave Fraser appeared on CTV News Channel to speak about Bill C-13, which made it illegal in Canada to distribute or share “intimate images” without the subject’s consent. This past week, the Government of Canada took another step in attempts to put an end to this sort of behaviour by launching an anti-cyberbullying public awareness campaign called “Stop Hating Online”.

The national TV and internet ad campaign is comprised of two parts. Phase one, a video ad which was revealed last Thursday, deals directly with Bill C-13′s mandate as it depicts youth sharing an intimate photo through social media and messaging who later face legal consequences when a police officer appears in the final scene of the ad. This first phase is aimed at parents and seeks to depict how cyberbullying can be a criminal activity and lead to real criminal consequences. Next month, a second phase of the initiative will encourage youth to take action against cyberbullying.

Currently, the campaign has a definite focus on the legal parameters of cyberbullying in hopes that taking this new angle will strum a chord with youth and teach that cyberbullying isn’t just morally wrong and harmful to it’s victims, but can also drastically change the lives of the those creating and sharing the harmful content. A large part of the project is to change the mentality of many young people, that the internet is a “no consequence” method of communication. In conjunction with the video campaign the government has also launched Canada.ca/StopHatingOnline which provides resources to parents and teens about cyberbullying and its effects.

Stop Hating Online

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The federal government is going to use television and online advertising to raise awareness about cyberbullying and the possible legal consequences of tormenting people.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay has said the national campaign which he announced yesterday at a school in Halifax is aimed at protecting children online.

CSSN’s Director of Public Relations & Social Media, Dave Fraser, appeared on CTV News Channel later in the day to discuss the impact of this type of campaign and why cyberbullying, despite all its media attention, is something we need to keep discussing and addressing.

You can view the full interview HERE.

You can learn more about the Government’s Stop Hating Online campaign HERE.

 

Save The Date 2014 OCT Draft2

The Early Bird Deadline to register for the 17th Annual Safe Schools Conference is THIS FRIDAY!

The 17th edition of our annual Safe Schools Conference features keynote addresses from noted author Dr. Edmond Dixon and Ms. Carol Todd, founder of The Amanda Todd Legacy.

Join us for a full day of inspiring and educational workshops, covering a wealth of topics including:

  • Legal Issues
  • Adolescent Mental Health
  • Creating a Positive School Climate
  • Gender & Sexuality-Based Aggression & Violence
  • Cyberbullying
  • Student Empowerment & Youth Engagement
  • Restorative Justice
  • And much more!

The 17th Annual Safe Schools Conference will be held on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON.

You can find the full conference program and registration information HERE.  You can also download the full conference brochure for offline registration HERE.

Register before January 10th to take advantage of our special Early Bird Rate!

Happy Holidays!

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We hope that all of our friends and supporters are enjoying a safe and happy holiday season with family and friends.

The CSSN offices are currently closed for the holidays but we will reopen on Monday, January 6th.

Thank you for your support of CSSN this year … we look forward to bringing you even bigger and better services in 2014!

Happy New Year!

WinnipegEvent

CSSN is pleased to announce the full schedule for Safe & Caring Schools: The Power of One, to be held on February 10th, 2014, in Winnipeg.

Delegates will enjoy a full day of plenary presentations from exceptional speakers and panelists on topics related to youth engagement, healthy relationship development and resiliency.

We are thrilled to announce that some amazing artists will be joining us to share important performances and bring some additional flavour and excitement to the day!

keithrenee

With the release of their new album, Best Day, country duo, Keith and Renee are poised for international success. After ten years of performing music together, Keith and Renee have performed across the US, Canada, Europe, Dubai and Africa.  Their music has been used in projects for David Suzuki, Manitoba Homecoming, Canadian Idol and Degrassi. Aside from this, the duo spent two summers in Kenya, Africa working with Free The Children and recently performed for the Queen of England. Their new album is charting now on Canadian country radio.

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Winnipeg’s own Flo is known as an R&B phenomenon. She’s a captivating artist with undeniable stage presence. When artists like Divine Brown, Lauryn Hill, Boyz II Men and 112 are looking for opening acts, they come to Flo.  Flo’s enduring message of faith and self-empowerment reflect an inner struggle: to overcome all obstacles and follow her dreams, “I believe this dream is bigger than I am.”   Luckily for Flo, her voice is bigger than her dreams. She is passion in living form, travels into realms of soul that some artists never tap into, and this is only the beginning …

Keith, Renee & Flo join our previously announced guests, including Dr. Edmond Dixon, Carol Todd, Kim Katrin Crosby, Harrison Oakes, Dr. Mark Koltek and Commissioner James Wilson.

Make plans now to join us at The Victoria Inn & Conference Centre in Winnipeg on February 10th for this amazing event!

You can find full details and registration information for this exciting and important event HERE.

leojer

CSSN is excited to once again offer a Student Stream at our annual Safe Schools Conference.  With the generous support of TD Bank, we are able to offer this low cost day of youth engagement and learning to students from around the GTA and Southern Ontario.

Held concurrently with The 17th Annual Safe Schools Conference, this year’s Student Stream will feature a keynote address by Leo Barbe of Think Don’t Shoot.

Leo

The survivor of two bullets and a victim of PTSD, Leo Barbe is a passionate, engaging and award-winning speaker, activist and author.  Leo works tirelessly to educate youth on the ripple effects of bullying and violence, helping young Canadians to empower themselves with emotional intelligence, find their voices and take control of their choices.

Additional speakers and presenters include:

Jeremy Dias
Director & Founder, Jer’s Vision

Irene Miller
President, Toronto PFLAG

Tka Pinnock
Executive Director, Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation

Brent Kalinowski
Independent Public Safety Consultant & Community Mobilization Expert

This Student Stream is best suited for students in Grades 7-12.

To register students for this fantastic experience, you can click HERE or download a faxable registration form HERE.

Where/When/How Much?

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
The International Centre
(Conference Centre Entrance)
6900 Airport Road
Mississauga, ON.

$60/student – includes light breakfast, lunch, breaks & conference program

DFCTV

Last week, Ottawa introduced new cyber-safety legislation which, among other steps, makes it illegal in Canada to distribute or share “intimate images” without the subject’s consent.

The legislation will also give judges the power to seize computers, cell phones and other devices used in the distribution of these images and to order financial restitution for the removal of such images from websites.

CSSN’s Dave Fraser appeared on CTV News Channel over the weekend to discuss the powers of the new legislation and whether it goes too far – or not far enough – in the protection of Canadian youth.

You can view the full interview HERE.

Saskatoon_Skyline_Night

The Canadian Safe School Network is pleased to announce that the annual Saskatoon Safe Schools Conference will be held on March 21st, 2014.

Join us at the Travelodge Saskatoon for a full day of valuable presentations and workshops on a wealth of topics related to resiliency, relationships, engagement, inclusion and acceptance, social-emotional development and mental health needs of students.

Featuring Keynote Speakers:

Gabrielle Scrimshaw
Co-Founder, Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada

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Michael Eisen
Founder, The Youth Wellness Network

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Further conference information can be found HERE.

aerc

AERC, the Aboriginal Education Research Centre – University of Saskatchewan, is one of CSSN’s many collaborative partners in our ongoing work around violence prevention.

Directed by Dr. Alex Wilson, AERC is a growing research centre that seeks to explore and develop success strategies for learning and education of the largest growing population in Saskatchewan. Through partnerships with scholars, faculty, students, community-based organizations, schools, federal and provincial governments, AERC is working to build stronger inclusive relationships among those involved with Aboriginal education.

CSSN and AERC work closely on the development and delivery of professional development programming in Saskatchewan, particularly the annual Saskatoon Safe Schools Conference.

You can view AERC’s most recent publication HERE.

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The Canadian Safe School Network, along with YOUCAN, had the honour and privilege of hosting the 2013 National Restorative Justice Symposium, held this week in Toronto.

The National Restorative Justice Symposium is an annual event held during Restorative Justice Week.  Every year, the event is hosted by a different community-based agency in a different location around the country.

The purpose of the National Symposium is to raise public, social, and government awareness about the use of restorative approaches and practices in addressing crime and conflict in Canadian society and the criminal justice system; to share information about restorative justice (RJ) programs and initiatives across Canada; to share resources and knowledge; to discuss emerging issues in RJ; to increase government-community collaboration; and to create opportunities for networking and partnerships among RJ academics, researchers, practitioners, organizations and government.

The Symposium featured a keynote address from Dr. Martin Brokenleg, as well as a keynote panel with Janet Briggs, Bruce Schenk and David Daubney.  Special guests who spoke included Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services, Madeleine Meilleur, and Danny Graham, former leader of Nova Scotia’s provincial Liberals.

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Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services,
Madeleine Meilleur, welcomes delegates.

The Symposium was co-chaired by Dave Farthing, CEO of YOUCAN, and Dave Fraser, Director of Public Relations & Social Media with CSSN.  The planning committee featured representatives from CSC, Ontario’s Ministry of Children & Youth Services, Operation Springboard, the Toronto District School Board, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice and Peacebuilders International.

Thank you to the fantastic volunteers who helped to make this event such a success, as well as all of our speakers, presenters, exhibitors and delegates.  Special thanks to our sponsors, including Ministry of Children & Youth Services (ON), Mennonite Central Committee Ontario, Ministry of Education (ON) and Correctional Service of Canada.

Next year’s Symposium will be held in Banff, Alberta.

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Theatre of the Beat castmembers do a Q&A with
the Symposium audience after performing the
acclaimed play Forgiven/Forgotten.

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Earlier this week, Toronto Police Services announced one of the largest international child pornography busts in history.  The efforts of Toronto Police and their colleagues in other forces resulted in the rescue of nearly 400 children from endangerment situations.  Dozens of arrests were made in the bust.

CSSN’s Dave Fraser spoke with CTV News Channel yesterday about the impact of the investigation and bust – and the fact that many of those arrested were people in positions of trusted authority, including teachers, coaches, and pastors.

You can view the full video HERE.

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The 17th edition of our annual Safe Schools Conference features keynote addresses from noted author Dr. Edmond Dixon and Ms. Carol Todd, founder of The Amanda Todd Legacy.

Join us for a full day of inspiring and educational workshops, covering a wealth of topics including:

  • Legal Issues
  • Adolescent Mental Health
  • Creating a Positive School Climate
  • Gender & Sexuality-Based Aggression & Violence
  • Cyberbullying
  • Student Empowerment & Youth Engagement
  • Restorative Justice
  • And much more!

The 17th Annual Safe Schools Conference will be held on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON.

You can find the full conference program and registration information HERE.  You can also download the full conference brochure for offline registration HERE.

Register before January 10th to take advantage of our special Early Bird Rate!

Volunteers Needed!

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CSSN is looking for mature, responsible and sales-driven volunteers to help us out at an upcoming Toronto Argonauts playoff game!

Our friends & supporters at the Argos have once again secured a playoff spot and have invited CSSN to be a charity recipient of the November 17th 50/50 Draw when they play their Division Final.

Volunteers must be at least 17 years of age and be able to join us from 11.00 am until the end of halftime on Sunday, November 17th, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

If you’re interested in this opportunity, please email dave@canadiansafeschools.com.

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“Kids can walk around trouble if there is someplace to walk to, and someone to walk with.”

Tito in Urban Sanctuaries
(Milbrey, McLaughlin, et al)

Safe & Caring Schools – The Power of One

Resiliency research affirms that caring, respectful adult-student relationships are foundational to meeting the social, emotional and academic needs of students.

The Canadian Safe Schools Network in partnership with Safe Schools Manitoba is pleased to announce that the annual Winnipeg Safe Schools Conference will be held on February 10, 2014.

Join us for a full day of valuable presentations and workshops on a wealth of topics related to resiliency, relationships, social-emotional development and mental health needs of students.

Featuring Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Edmond Dixon
Keen 5X Embodied Learning
Author, Helping Boys Learn

Ms. Carol Todd
Founder, The Amanda Todd Legacy

Kim Katrin Crosby
Co-Director & Co-Founder, The People Project

Harrison Oakes
PREVNet, University of Winnipeg

James Wilson
Commissioner, Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba

Dr. Mark Koltek
Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre

Delegates will enjoy a full day of plenary presentations from six exceptional speakers and enjoy performances from local artists with a focus on youth justice and engagement.  We invite you to join us for the important day of information and idea-sharing, as we work toward creating a community where every child feels safe, secure and included!

You can register online or download a copy of the registration flyer HERE.

WPGSpeakers

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In just two weeks’ time, CSSN and co-host organization YOUCAN, will welcome hundreds of delegates to Toronto for the 2013 National Restorative Justice Symposium.

The National Restorative Justice Symposium is an annual event held during Restorative Justice Week.  Every year, the event is hosted by a different community-based agency in a different location around the country.

The purpose of the National Symposium is to raise public, social, and government awareness about the use of restorative approaches and practices in addressing crime and conflict in Canadian society and the criminal justice system; to share information about restorative justice (RJ) programs and initiatives across Canada; to share resources and knowledge; to discuss emerging issues in RJ; to increase government-community collaboration; and to create opportunities for networking and partnerships among RJ academics, researchers, practitioners, organizations and government.

The Ron Wiebe Award will be presented at a gala banquet during the National Restorative Justice Symposium 2013 on Monday, November 18th at The Courtyard Marriott in downtown Toronto, Ontario.

The Symposium will feature greetings and remarks on Monday morning from Danny Graham, QC., former leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia and one of the founders of that province’s Restorative Justice Symposium, as well as Madeleine Meilleur, Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Registration is still available for the Symposium by clicking HERE.

CSSN Celebrates Spirit Day

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October 17th, 2013 is Spirit Day across North America and worldwide on the internet.  Today we “go purple” in support of LGBTQ youth and against homophobic bullying.

In Canada, the CIHR reports that LGBTQ youth have a bullying and harassment rate at school three times higher than other students.

Started in October 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, Spirit Day has become an international phenomenon with Hollywood celebrities donning purple in support and websites displaying purple images.  This year, all 30 clubs in Major League Baseball have joined in a united stand against discriminatory bullying.

CSSN proudly supports and endorses Spirit Day this year – and every year – until homophobic bullying is eliminated and every student feels safe and welcome at school and in their community.

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CSSN’s annual 9th Annual Saskatoon Safe Schools Conference will be held on March 21st at the Travelodge Saskatoon.  If you have an exciting or innovative new practice or initiative you would like to share with our audience, why not submit a presentation proposal!?

The conference will be keynoted by the astounding and inspiring Gabrielle Scrimshaw, founder of the Aboriginal Professional Association, and the passionate and engaging Michael Eisen, founder of the Youth Wellness Network.

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The Safe Schools Conference annually covers a wealth of school & youth-related issues that pertain to developing and ensuring a safe, inclusive and positive learning environment for everyone.

You can download the Request for Proposals form HERE.  We ask that all proposals be submitted by the end of day on Thursday, October 31st, 2013.  We will contact all applicants in early November to advise if your session has been selected.

Please note, as a not-for-profit organization, CSSN presents our conferences on a very limited budget.  We cannot offer financial compensation for your presentation.  Mileage and travel expenses may be reimbursed in some circumstances.

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CSSN is excited to announce that the full program and registration for the 2014 Safe Schools Conference is now available!

The 17th edition of our annual Safe Schools Conference features keynote addresses from noted author Dr. Edmond Dixon and Ms. Carol Todd, founder of The Amanda Todd Legacy.

Join us for a full day of inspiring and educational workshops, covering a wealth of topics including:

  • Legal Issues
  • Adolescent Mental Health
  • Creating a Positive School Climate
  • Gender & Sexuality-Based Aggression & Violence
  • Cyberbullying
  • Student Empowerment & Youth Engagement
  • Restorative Justice
  • And much more!

The 17th Annual Safe Schools Conference will be held on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON.

You can find the full conference program and registration information HERE.

Register before January 10th to take advantage of our special Early Bird Rate!

WinnipegEvent

“Kids can walk around trouble if there is someplace to walk to, and someone to walk with.”

Tito in Urban Sanctuaries
(Milbrey, McLaughlin, et al)

Safe & Caring Schools – The Power of One

Resiliency research affirms that caring, respectful adult-student relationships are foundational to meeting the social, emotional and academic needs of students.

The Canadian Safe Schools Network in partnership with Safe Schools Manitoba is pleased to announce that the annual Winnipeg Safe Schools Conference will be held on February 10, 2014.

Join us for a full day of valuable presentations and workshops on a wealth of topics related to resiliency, relationships, social-emotional development and mental health needs of students.

Featuring Keynote Speakers:

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Dr. Edmond Dixon
Keen 5X Embodied Learning
Author, Helping Boys Learn

Ms. Carol Todd
Founder, The Amanda Todd Legacy

WHO WILL BENEFIT?

- Principals, Vice-Principals & Teachers in Elementary & Secondary Schools
- School Board Trustees & Administrators
- School Council Members & Parents
- Board Psychologists, Social Workers & Support Personnel
- Police & Government Officials
- Educational Leadership Candidates
- Educational Assistants
- Student Leaders

For more information and to register, click HERE.

A downloadable flyer is available HERE.  Interested Manitoba educators should feel free to distribute and cross-post.

Taking It To The Schools

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One of the best parts of our job here at CSSN is working with students and sharing our expertise on bullying and school safety issues!  This week we’re spending two days with the Grade 9 students at Tanenbaum CHAT in north Toronto.

After a screening of the award-winning film, Bully, the school’s Grade 9 class is spending the rest of the morning with CSSN’s Dave & Alyssa, learning about respectful and safe use of social media, as well as how to deal with cyber-bullying and how to avoid becoming a victim.  Additionally, students learn about how to become an “upstander” when they see something happening either in person or online that shouldn’t be.

At the end of each workshop, the students get a chance to take over and show us examples of caring, respectful relationship building in schools – as well as writing their own individual pledges for helping to create safe, caring and respectful school community.

Many thanks to the great staff and administration at Tanenbaum CHAT for inviting us back over the past few years!

If you’re interested in something similar for your students, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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CSSN’s Alyssa Keel, presenting to the Gr. 9 students at Tanenbaum CHAT in Toronto.

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Another Canadian teen has taken his life after an onslaught of bullying behaviour and, with legislations popping up across the country, people are asking why more isn’t being done to prevent these tragedies.  CSSN President Stu Auty spoke to The Globe & Mail about the issue yesterday.

After months of cyber-bullying, 15-year old Todd Loik of North Battleford, SK., too his own life last week.  The RCMP is currently investigating the case.

From The Globe & Mail:

Stu Auty, president of the Canadian Safe School Network, called for more schools to commit to becoming bully-free zones and offer programs that teach children how to develop healthy relationships, including through role-playing.

“A lot of these kids have never had direction. They don’t understand the impact of their actions, so what a school can do is teach that,” he said.

You can read the full article featuring Stu’s comments HERE.

 

The Safe Schools Hockey Pool

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On Wednesday evening, nearly 100 guests gathered at P.J. O’Brien Irish Pub in downtown Toronto for the inaugural Safe Schools NHL Hockey Pool.  Hosted by Brian Burke, President of Hockey Operations with the Calgary Flames, and emceed by Joe “Holy Mackinaw” Bowen, the event raised both funds and awareness for the ongoing efforts of CSSN to provide safe, inclusive school environments for all students.

Generously sponsored by TD Bank and the Calgary Flames, the event brought together nearly 20 companies and organizations to make their picks for a season-long hockey pool.  The evening featured an exciting and competitive draft along with great food, networking and education for our guests.

Simon Popescu, an amazing young student with Toronto PFLAG, spoke to the crowd before the draft got underway about his experiences being bullied because of his sexuality.  Simon eloquently drove home the point of why organizations like CSSN, PFLAG and more must continue to be supported and do the work that they do.

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The TD Wolfpack, Keener’s Corner, Weekend At Bernier’s, the Agents of SHIELD, Crowns of Leon, and NO HABS HERE were just some of the teams who drafted a full roster of the NHL’s best and brightest in the hopes of creating the season’s top fantasy team.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who attended, our host, emcee and special guests, along with our amazing volunteers who helped keep the night running smoothly.  A special thanks goes out to P.J. O’Brien for the great venue and fantastic service.

We look forward to following the pool all season long!

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CSSN Board Member John Hynes, supporter Steve Craig and CIBC’s Minerva Isovski with Toronto Maple Leafs John Michael Liles & Jake Gardiner

 

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Joe Bowen, Gardiner, Liles, CSSN volunteer Megan &
Brian Burke get the draft underway.

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CSSN supporter & “Playing Fore Change” golf tournament organizer,
Dave Rogers of AMP Solar, with his father, Tom, and Liles & Gardiner.

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CSSN is looking forward to welcoming Winston Blake, Executive Director of the Restorative Action Program (RAP), to Toronto for a full-day Restorative Practices training on October 24th.

Winston and his program are featured in a recent CBC article about the value of teens themselves as a resource for stopping youth violence.

Winston says teenagers are generally the best-informed people in a school, especially in the era of social media. He says teens can often prevent problems before they start.

You can read the full article HERE.

To join us for Winston’s amazing one-day training opportunity, you can learn more HERE.

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Reprinted from The Vancouver Sun.

I am a 27-year-old woman and an alumnus of St. Mary’s University and the University of British Columbia.

In the fall of 2012, tragically, Amanda Todd became a household name. For many, Amanda’s story became a signpost, a warning, a glimpse into the complex worlds of bullying, the Internet, sexual exploitation and adolescent mental health.

Six months later, an eerily similar story emerged on Canada’s opposite coast as we were introduced far too late to the story of Rehtaeh Parsons.

When two such tragedies happen within months of each other, we must ask if there is a pattern happening here.

Mental health services in Canada are woefully lacking: The system, our safety net, is weak.

Equally as troubling have been the vitriolic, victim-blaming commentaries saying, “Boys will be boys” or “Maybe the girls asked for it.” Collectively, we have created and fed a culture where sexual assault is joked about, its victims blamed and its existence downplayed, even denied. Never has this culture of casually “OK-ing” rape been more evident than in the past week as, once again, news stories with eerie similarities surfaced coast to coast.

Frosh-week leaders, our welcoming committee for first-year students, have laughingly and casually led chants saying, “Y is for your sister, U is for underage, N is for no consent … we like them young.”

I urge you to read those words and to hold in your mind two contrasting ideas. The first is the pain experienced and expressed by both Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons. Now, think about the festivity inherent in frosh weeks where people come together to celebrate fresh starts, new experiences and soon-to-be friends.

How is it that with all of the promise of the latter scene, the people involved could have the selfish and cruel narrow-mindedness to make light of situations akin to those in the first?

As word about SMU is traveling far and wide, a similar story is emerging out of UBC.  The Sauder School of Business’ orientation leaders chose a similar cheer for their frosh week. The frosh co-chair cannot plead ignorance regarding its offensive and dangerous nature. The chant had already garnered widespread negative attention.

There is talk of sensitivity training and “next steps” from both schools. However, having attended both universities and having lived in SMU residence as a 17-year-old, I assure you that the misogynistic, pro-rape culture depicted in this chant is not something unique to those frosh leaders. Nor is it something that one-time sessions will remediate.

Young women are encouraged, beyond all else, to go to university. However, before they can even get their footing on their new home campuses, we shove pro-rape, anti-consent messaging down their throats.

For those looking to play down the significance of these events I ask of you: Imagine Amanda and Rehtaeh’s lives were not cut short following months of relentless sexual exploitation and public bullying.

Imagine that these girls had the opportunity to finish high school and start university in their home provinces. What would we say if they had been subjected to the smiling faces of their new peers chanting “We like ‘em young … N is for no consent?”

I urge you to look at the statistics about sexual assault among men and women in Canada. I urge you to think about how many people you know of who have had their drinks spiked, been pressured to have sex or take naked pictures of themselves or woke up after a night out unsure of what happened. Given the collective 60,000-plus students at UBC and SMU, Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons would not have been the only two, when hearing these chants, to know that their suffering had merely become the butt of someone else’s joke.

It is not OK.

==

Claire Pitcher is a child and youth public health nurse working and living in East Vancouver.

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For years, CSSN has been a one-stop-shop for valuable resources, as well as events, conferences and professional development.  Our interactive programs including Cool Kids in the Zone, Cool Heads In The Zone and Where’s Your Line have been popular products for educators around the country.

While we do not currently have a “store” section on our website, these resources are still available!  You can contact CSSN directly for more information about purchasing any of the following:

Cool Heads In The Zone

Cool Heads In The Zone is an interactive exploration of bullying in schools that allows students to explore the consequences and outcomes of their actions and choices. This CD-Rom utilizes child actors playing out commonly understood bullying scenes in an interactive fashion. Program resources include paper-based manuals, CDs and other age-relevant materials. The program is available in English and French.

Recommended for Grades 3-7.

Cost: $150 per school provides license and allows duplication of materials

Cool Kids In The Zone

Cool Kids In The Zone is a violence prevention program that helps to teach students key values and strengthens the socialization process vital to their success in school and life. It is an interactive DVD/video (French and English) utilizing animated characters exemplifying respect, honesty, kindness, co-operation and empathy. Program resources include paper-based manuals, CDs and other age-relevant materials. The program is available in English and French.

Recommended for Grades K-3

Cost:  $150 per school provides license and allows duplication of materials

Where’s Your Line? Preventing Peer Sexual Victimization

Where’s Your Line? Preventing Peer Sexual Victimization is a resource with the primary purpose of directly benefiting girls aged 12-15 years who have been, or are currently the victims of sexual assault. The project aims to fill the service / support gap for those girls who are at risk of continual victimization due to a lack of positive role models and support from their families or communities.

This program includes a DVD, facilitator guide and class set (25) of brochures, designed to assist students to self identify, use wise and safe strategies to report and get the necessary support or services they need to leave unhealthy and potentially dangerous relationships or situations, as well as avoid future victimization.

Recommended for Grades 7-10 as both a parent and teacher tool.

Cost:  $120

Please note: at this time, extra downloadable resources associated with these products are not available.  We are working to correct this issue as soon as possible.

Anti-bullying posters & brochures are also available at any time from CSSN.

For more information about purchasing any of our resources, please contact:

Alyssa Keel
Manager of Curriculum & Development
alyssa@canadiansafeschools.com
416.977.1050

Terrence McKillen of The Terrence & Svea McKillen Foundation welcomes the audience and introduces CBC's Mark Kelley.

CSSN’s annual Safe Schools Conference will be held on February 25th at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON.  There’s still time to submit a presentation proposal if you have an exciting or innovative new practice or initiative you would like to share with our audience!

The conference will be keynoted by Dr. Edmond Dixon, author of Helping Boys Learn, with a plenary address by Carol Todd, founder of The Amanda Todd Legacy.

The Safe Schools Conference annually covers a wealth of school & youth-related issues that pertain to developing and ensuring a safe, inclusive and positive learning environment for everyone.

You can download the Request for Proposals form HERE.  We ask that all proposals be submitted by the end of day on Friday, September 20th, 2013.  We will contact all applicants by early October to advise if your session has been selected.

Please note, as a not-for-profit organization, CSSN presents our conferences on a very limited budget.  We cannot offer financial compensation for your presentation.  Mileage and travel expenses may be reimbursed in some circumstances.

MCandKids

Registration is now open for the full-day student stream of CSSN’s Positive School Climate & Youth Engagement Conference in Regina on October 28th.  Educators and administrators are encouraged to bring students between Grades 7-12 for a full-day of learning and sharing!

Participate in a stream of sessions specially designed for students from Grades 7-12.  You’ll hear from speakers on topics including how to engage & make the most of your time in school, how to be an ally, and how to make your school a better place!

Sessions & Speakers Include:

Kids Help Phone: Engaging and Supporting Youth – Kids Help Phone

As an organization dedicated to the well-being of youth, Kids Help Phone continues to engage youth in many aspects of our work.  From development of content and interactive games on our website to our Always There mobile app, young people have played an integral role in how we support youth.

This presentation will include information on how we support young people, how we currently engage youth, and future opportunities for youth to support one another by getting involved with Kids Help Phone.

School Resource Officers Talk to Youth! – Regina Police Service

School Resource Officers talk about being a police officer and what it takes to be one.  Officers talk about police work in the schools and the streets of Regina each day. Get a better understanding of the School Resource Officer’s role with the youth of Regina.

Student Engagement & Giving Your All – Michael Redhead Champagne

Conference keynote, Michael Champagne – also known as Northend MC – from Winnipeg, MB, will inspire you to make the most of your time as a student and give you tips and secrets on rising above the crowd to maximize your contribution to both school and society.  Everyone who hears MC speak falls in love – you won’t want to miss this one!

So You Think You’re An Ally?  – Chandra McIvor, The Avenue Community Centre

Are you giving your all as an ally to LGBTQ friends and peers?  Are you fully engaged as an LGBTQ-identified student?  The first and best way to navigate personal introspection and be allied with diversity is to equip yourself with basic knowledge of the gender and sexually diverse (GSD) world.  Learn how to develop strategies that can be readily applied to create spaces for inclusivity and GSD-positivity in your day to day world!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER or visit www.canadiansafeschools.com!

The Student Stream is generously sponsored by

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World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.

World Suicide Prevention Day gives organizations, government agencies and individuals a chance to promote awareness about suicide, mental illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention. Organizations such as the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organization (WHO) play a key role in promoting this day.

According to CAMH, over 1-million people around the world take their own lives each year.  All of these deaths are preventable.  In Canada, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youth aged 10-24.  A significant percentage of those youth who take their own lives have never sought any kind of help or counseling.

We must break down the stigma and silence around suicide and the mental health conditions that so frequently lead people down this path.  Doctors, hospitals, mental health crisis lines, Kids Help Phone and more are available day and night to help those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts – and to help those who believe someone close to them may be contemplating ending their life.

Remember, suicide is a process – not an event.  If you think someone needs help, don’t hesitate to offer or provide it.

More:

Myths & Realities of Suicide

Signs of a Potentially Suicidal Person

Where to get help

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Republished from browardnetonline.com

What parents should know about cyber-bullying

Cyber bullying occurs when children or teens use the internet, cell phones or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass other children or teens. This can include sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images; posting sensitive, private information about another person; or pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad. Children and teens can cyber bully each other through e-mails, instant messaging, text messages, web pages, blogs or chat rooms.

 

Tips to help prevent cyber-bullying:

• Keep your computer in easily viewable places
• Talk regularly with your child about on-line activities that he or she is involved in
• Tell your child that you may review their on-line communications
• Consider installing parental control filtering software and/or tracking programs

 Tips for dealing with cyber-bullying that your child has experienced:

• Strongly encourage your child not to respond to the cyber bullying
• Do not erase the messages or pictures (save these as evidence)
• Try to identify the individual doing the cyber bullying
• Contact the police if cyber bullying involves acts such as threats of violence, extortion, obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages, harassment, stalking, hate crimes, etc.

Holiday Weekend Closure

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The Canadian Safe School Network offices will be closed on Monday, September 2nd in observation of Labour Day.

We hope all of our friends and partners in education have enjoyed a fantastic Summer 2013 and are well rested for a safe and successful new school year.

We will return to the office on Tuesday and look forward to working together all year long.

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Thunder, lightning, wind and teeming rain couldn’t keep a fantastic group of dedicated golfers from enjoying the day and raising both funds and awareness for CSSN at the inaugural Playing Fore Change charity tournament on August 26th.

Presented by AMP Solar Group and held at the beautiful RattleSnake Point Golf Club, the event brought together over 120 players from around Southern Ontario for a day on the links.

Joining us on the course were members of the Toronto Argonauts, including Noel Prefontaine, Swayze Waters, 100th Grey Cup MVP Chad Kackert, members of the Argos Cheerleaders and AMP Solar CEO Dave Rogers, whose daughter’s experience with bullying was the impetus for the event.

Jason Colero of the Argonauts’ Huddle Up program joined the group at dinner to discuss the program, his experiences with bullying and the impact that awareness and support programs have on Canadian youth suffering through their own hardships at the hands of bullies today.

CSSN would like to extend our sincere thanks to all those who attended this year’s inaugural event – and particular gratitude to the AMP Solar team, particularly tournament coordinator Mona Travale, for a fantastic and successful day!  We look forward to seeing you next year!

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The Canadian Safe School Network is excited to announce the keynote speakers for the Annual Safe Schools Conference to be held February 25th, 2014.

This benchmark safe schools event returns for its 17th year with a full day of valuable workshops and presentations on a wealth of topics related to student, youth & community health and safety.

This year we are pleased to welcome keynote speaker Dr. Edmond Dixon, author of Helping Boys Learn.  A pioneer in the field of Cognitive-Kinesthetics for learning, Edmond J. Dixon, PhD is a human development specialist with 30+ years of experience as a teacher, administrator, writer, researcher–and parent of boys! He is the founder of the KEEN Differentiated Learning Group, an organization dedicated to helping struggling learners, and the creator of KEEN 5X, a series of strategies for classroom engagement and learning. His previous books, KEEN For Learning and Literacy Through Drama have been used by educators to improve classroom learning. A dynamic and popular presenter, he has spoken throughout North America on education and human development topics.

We are also thrilled to announce that our plenary speaker on February 25th will be Carol Todd, founder of The Amanda Todd Legacy.  Carol became a national figure in the fight against bullying following the death of her daughter, Amanda, in October 2012.  Carol bravely shares Amanda’s story with parents and educators in the hopes that we can prevent similar situations in the future.

There is still time to submit a presentation proposal if you would like to be considered for a workshop at the Safe Schools Conference.  You can download the Request for Proposals HERE.

Mark your calendars for February 25th, 2014!  We look forward to seeing you in Mississauga!

Save The Date 2014 OCT Draft2

 

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At CSSN we are very fortunate to be able to meet and work with some of the most amazing presenters, speakers and collaborators in the country.  One of our favourites is Leo Barbe from Think Don’t Shoot.

Think Don’t Shoot is a youth organization and movement that seeks to encourage hope, provide positive guidance, and help youth cope with the psychological, physiological and sociological effect of violence and trauma.

They dedicated to utilizing the scope of Post-Traumatic Stress and emotional intelligence, while empowering those who have been victimized, educating those who will victimize and creating strong and positive community leaders.

Leo is a gun violence survivor who now shares his story and his words of inspiration with students around Canada. He’s fast becoming a “must-see” speaker and we’re proud to continue to work with him!

You can see a sneak peek of one of Leo’s live presentations below.

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Republished from SheKnows.ca.

Imagine a young girl, cowering in a corner of her school’s cafeteria as groups of friends lunch and look on, amused by her obvious fear. The other girls are eating peanut butter sandwiches, something that she and many others like her are allergic to. The girls smear bits on their hands and then wave them at her as she retreats closer to the wall. The girls laugh, having received their desired effect, and leave the cafeteria.

In a recent survey published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 25 per cent of children report they have been bullied because of a food allergy, with the percentage being as high as 50 per cent among students in grades six through 10.

What is bullying?

Bullying, a hot-button topic for many, is defined as repeated unwanted and aggressive behaviour where there is a perceived or real imbalance of power, such as an older or bigger student toward a younger or smaller student, or an adult and child. Bullying can take on many forms, such as verbal, physical, social and cyber-bullying. In addition to the physical and mental health issues associated with bullying, food allergy bullying has the added danger of life-threatening injuries and the need for immediate medical intervention.

According to the survey, 79 per cent of respondents stated that they were being bullied because of their allergy, while others were bullied because they carry medication. Students also face the fear of lurking allergens, sometimes purposely hidden around the classroom to inflict the most harm. Some students have anxiety and stress disorders stemming from allergic reactions at school, while others deal with compulsive behaviours because of their fear of allergens lurking on doorknobs, backpacks and even on their friends’ hands.

What are schools doing about it?

Schools are becoming more aware of the situation and are planning for the prevention of allergic reactions. School staff and personnel should know how to use allergy medication, when to administer it and where it is kept. In addition, many schools are updating their policies regarding snack sharing and maintaining allergen-free zones, and even birthday and other celebration treats are more commonly being replaced by apple slices and other healthy snacks.

In addition to the steps schools are now taking, bullying prevention should remain a priority. Evidence suggests that peer-to-peer interventions work best, rather than adult-driven programs. Students being on board and creating their own anti-bullying strategies is key to preventing bullying and harassment, and while that allows children and youth to be responsible for both the identification and intervention of bullying, it also creates ownership and a desire to see their interventions succeed.

What can parents do?

“25 per cent of children report they have been bullied because of a food allergy.”

It is essential that adults understand and believe that bullying is not a normal part of growing up, nor is it a milestone every child and youth must face on their own. Bullying can cause lifelong mental health issues for both the child being bullied and the student engaging in bullying behaviours. It also has the potential to lead those exhibiting bullying behaviours into the justice system. Children and youth need consistent messaging when it comes to bullying. Students cannot be told they have the right to defend themselves, including hitting back, by parents and guardians when the school is enforcing a strict hands-off policy. Instead, students should be encouraged to be assertive when it comes to bullying and to show with their bodies and voices that bullying is not OK and will not be tolerated. Children especially should be taught the difference between asking an adult for help when someone is in trouble and tattle telling.

Parents and guardians are the best advocates for their children and should have a clear line of communication with their child’s school. Teachers and principals are the first line of defence against bullying and harassment in schools and should take bullying situations seriously. Schools should have policies in place to deal with bullying as well as protocols for handling food allergies in schools. If your child is experiencing bullying at school, find out from the principal what steps will be taken to ensure your child’s safety. Always consider the mental health of your child, but remain calm in any interaction with the school; teachers and other school staff are your allies and want your child to be safe and to succeed as well.

Education is key

Educating our children about food allergies and bullying is essential to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all students in schools. Students with allergies can be seen as ambassadors, teaching their classmates about their allergies and medications. Keeping information out in the open and accessible allows for an environment where students are knowledgeable and aware of their own community.

Written by Alyssa Keel, M.S.W., R.S.W. Alyssa is the manager of curriculum and development for the Canadian Safe School Network. She has a number of years’ experience working with children, youth and adults in a variety of settings, including elementary and high schools. Alyssa is passionate about mental health issues and believes strongly that a successful school career can have long-lasting effects on children and youth.
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The 2013 Safe Schools Institute has come to an end!  Our thanks to all those who participated in a fantastic week of learning, interaction and networking.  We hope you enjoyed the Institute as much as we did!

Held at the Horseshoe Resort in beautiful Horseshoe Valley, the Institute brought together educators and administrators from across Ontario and Quebec to spend a week studying the “must knows” of Safe Schools in Canada.

Representatives of a dozen boards and community organizations were on-hand for the intensive certification training.  Delegates learned about legislation, school culture, progressive discipline, suspensions & expulsions, bullying & harassment, mental health issues … and much more!

Plans are already underway for next year’s Institute … we hope you’ll join us!

But did you know … CSSN can bring certification training directly to your board at any time during the year?  You don’t have to wait for next August!  Contact us to get details of Safe Schools training for your board!

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Earlier today, two young men were arrested by the RCMP for their roles in the assault and subsequent cyber-bullying and suicide of Halifax teen, Rehtaeh Parsons.  CSSN’s Dave Fraser sat down with CTV News this afternoon to discuss the implications of these arrests and what’s next where the law and cyberbullying are concerned.

You can view the full interview HERE.

The Parsons family alleges that Rehtaeh was sexually assaulted at a party when she was just 15 years old.  A cellphone photo began to circulate at her school and eventually online.  Authorities were contacted but the origins of the photo were deemed to be untraceable.

Rehtaeh was taken off of life support in April of this year after she attempted suicide.  Her alleged assault took place in November 2011.

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CSSN President Stu Auty sat down with CTV News Channel yesterday to discuss the new cyberbullying law in Nova Scotia.

This new legislation gives victims of cyberbullying and online aggression the right to launch civil suit against perpetrators.  This law is the first of its kind in Canada. Victims can also seek a protection order that could place restrictions on or help identify the cyberbully.

Some critics see issues with the law, claiming that the liability now placed on parents and educators will encourage adults to “spy” on youth.  Stu Auty states that parents need to be more actively involved in their teens’ and preteens’ lives and ensure that their online activity is safe and protected.

You can view the interview in its entirety HERE.

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The Canadian Safe School Network is excited to announce an amazing upcoming fundraising event!

The Safe Schools NHL Hockey Pool will help raise much-needed support for CSSN’s ongoing efforts to work with schools, communities and families to help prevent bullying and promote inclusion and acceptance of all Canadian youth!

Hosted by Brian Burke, The Safe Schools NHL Hockey Pool will be held on September 25th in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada’s premiere hockey town!

You can register your team of four to participate in a live draft and an evening of trading and shuffling.  Get helpful advice on your roster-building from John-Michael Liles, Jake Gardiner, David Clarkson and more!

Prizes (to be awarded at the end of the 2013/2014 NHL season) up for grabs include:

- a team trip to Montreal to see the Leafs take on the Montreal Canadiens!
- a full day Toronto Maple Leafs experience (tours, food, tickets!)
- a Toronto Blue Jays game day experience!
- a full day of golf for four with dinner & more!

You can register your team of four today for $2400 (or $2000/group if purchasing more than one team) and get ready for an exhilarating night and a full season of excitement!

Reception, dinner, draft and more are included in your registration!

For more information and to register your group today, please contact:
Dave Fraser
dave@canadiansafeschools.com
416.977.1050

Volunteers Needed!

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The Canadian Safe School Network is seeking volunteers to help us with a 50/50 night at a Toronto Argonauts home game this summer!  If you’re over 17 years old and would like to put your sales skills to work for a great cause, this is a great opportunity!

CSSN will be the charitable beneficiary of the Argos’ 50/50 draw on Friday, August 23rd, as the reigning Grey Cup champions take on the Calgary Stampeders.

We require volunteers to sell tickets to fans at the Rogers Centre from approximately 5:30 pm until the start of the 3rd period.  Volunteers will then be able to enjoy the rest of the game from reserved seats!  The August 23rd game also includes a halftime celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Argos’ 1983 Grey Cup win.

If you’re an outgoing and enthusiastic individual who’d like to volunteer a few hours to a great cause, we’d love to hear from you!  Please email Dave Fraser – dave@canadiansafeschools.com – for more information!

* Volunteer Reference Letters will be available for any participant who wishes or requires.
Please note there is no financial compensation.

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On October 24th, 2013, join CSSN and celebrated trainer & presenter, Winston Blake, BA, C.Med., for a full day of training and interactive learning covering the principles of Restorative Practices.

This is an excellent opportunity for Principals, Vice-Principals, Counselors, Teachers and anyone involved in education, law enforcement or any type of leadership role to receive training in the fundamentals of Restorative Practices and be actively involved in bringing a new style of thinking and conflict management back to the classroom or office.

The fundamental premise of Restorative Practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.

Space is limited at this highly interactive event.  Please CLICK HERE to be redirected to the registration page.

This event will be held at Spiral Banquet & Conference Centre, 888 Don Mills Road, in Toronto.
Continental breakfast, nutrition breaks and a full lunch will be provided.

Terrence McKillen of The Terrence & Svea McKillen Foundation welcomes the audience and introduces CBC's Mark Kelley.

Although we’re in the hot, steamy days of summer, plans are well underway for next year’s Safe Schools Conference to be held February 25th, 2014, at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON.

Do you or your organization have an exciting initiative, promising practice or school/community program that you would like to highlight at the premier Safe Schools event in Canada?  Are you an accomplished and inspiring presenter with a message to share with our audience of educators, law enforcement, social workers and more?

We would love to hear from you!

If you’re interested in presenting at the 2014 Safe Schools Conference, please complete the CALL FOR PRESENTERS and submit your breakout session idea for consideration.

Please note that due to the ever-rising costs of hosting a conference of this scope and as a small non-profit organization, we are currently unable to financially compensate presenters for their time.  Mileage expenses may be covered for out-of-town presenters. All presenters will receive one FREE registration to the conference.

For further information, please contact:

Dave Fraser
Director of Public Relations & Social Media
dave@canadiansafeschools.com
416.977.1050

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A New Home For CSSN

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CSSN is on the move!  Due to changes in our staffing, the CSSN head office will be moving into a new space over the long weekend.

Our apologies in advance if you experience a slight delay in responses to your phone calls or emails.

We’re not moving too far, though – just shifting down a few floors in the same building.

Please update your address books to reflect our new address:

111 Peter St.
Suite 116
Toronto, ON.   M5V2H1

Our phone & fax numbers, as well as website and email addresses, will all remain the same.

We look forward to continuing to serve and support you from our new location!

Saying Goodbye To SNAP

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After three & a half years and working with over SIX-THOUSAND kids around the GTA, we’re saying goodbye to our SNAP For Schools program this week.

On October 15th, 2009 the National Crime Prevention Centre announced financial support for the Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) to deliver the award winning SNAP® (Stop Now and Plan) program to selected schools in five school boards across the Greater Toronto Area.

SNAP is an evidence-based model developed more than 30 years ago by the Child Development Institute (CDI) in Toronto, Canada (formerly called Earlscourt Child and Family Centre). It started as a strategy to get children in a day treatment program exhibiting behavioural problems to “stop and think” before they reacted.

SNAP has proven to be a promising prevention and intervention model for young children with conduct problems. The goal of SNAP is to keep these high-risk children in school and out of trouble.

Thank you to all of our SNAP facilitators past and present for their amazing efforts over the past few years.  You’ve made a fantastic impact on literally thousands of young lives.  We’ll miss you all!

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The end of the school year is upon us this week!  Students are clamoring for the doors, teachers are packing up for the cottage and parents everywhere are scrambling to make plans to keep young ones occupied for two long, hot months.

But what about bullies and their victims?  Do they take the summer off?

In many cases, students will be physically removed from those who might bully or intimidate them at school – but with more and more youth constantly connected via cell phones and social media, it’s unlikely that they’ll spend a relaxing summer away from their bullies.

Take the time, as June comes to an end, to talk to kids about the best and worst parts of their school year – and about what they’re looking forward to or fearing when September rolls around.  This may help you assess if your child is in a bullying situation that requires your attention.  Make sure to talk openly about their social media usage and find out who they’re talking to online, what they’re seeing and saying, and whether they’re using the internet safely and wisely.

Summer camps, day programs, sporting groups and more can be great ideas for keeping kids occupied and engaged over the summer months.  These activities can also help them meet more and more people and expand their social circle, connecting them with others who share their interests.  Exposure to like-minded peers can help to build a youth’s self-confidence and engender successful social growth and development.

Keeping the lines of communication open with your children – whether you think they might be the victim OR the bully – is key to resolving such situations.

And remember, downtime is just as important to kids as it is to us!  Make time for rest and relaxation and to spend quality hours together before another summer slips away.

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The Canadian Safe School Network is thrilled and honoured to be the charity of choice for the inaugural “Playing Fore Change” Anti-Bullying Awareness Golf Classic hosted by AMP Solar Group Inc.

Playing Fore Change will be held on Monday, August 26th at the prestigious RattleSnake Point Golf Course in Milton, Ontario.

The President & CEO of AMP Solar was inspired to create this event when his daughter began to experience significant bullying issues after cutting her hair for kids with cancer. A group of girls began to mock her for her new haircut and the mockery quickly digressed into a full bullying event.

Fortunately, with supportive parents and a safe, supporting school environment, the problem was quickly dealt with – but this is not always the case for Canadian children!

Numerous sponsorship and donation opportunities are available for your consideration to help raise funds for The Canadian Safe School Network. Organizations and individuals are invited to select the level of participation that best suits your needs. In addition, you can join us and play as a foursome in the tournament.

You can find the full sponsorship and registration package HERE.

We look forward to seeing you on the links!

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SIGNS OF BULLYING AND WHAT YOU CAN DO!

There is a difference between “conflict” and “bullying.” We define bullying as an ongoing event in which one party intimidates, threatens, bothers or abuses a second party, and in which one party holds power over the second party.

What does a bullied child look and act like?

- they suddenly don’t want to go to school or to their extra-curricular clubs & activities
- they may overreact to situations or act with anxiety & fear
- they may experience a drop in grades and school performance
- they may start making negative comments about themselves
- they may spend time in secrecy on their computer or with their cellphone, not allowing parents to see conversations
- they may begin to experience insomnia, bad dreams or even bedwetting
- they may even talk about harming themselves

What does a bully look and act like?

- they may suddenly have possessions that you haven’t seen before or have more money than you’ve given them
- they may be aloof or dismissive about the feelings of others
- they may become angry and aggressive with others (or you!) very quickly
- they may be aggressive with their siblings or pets

What can parents do?

- talk to your child’s teacher, whether you think they may be a victim or an aggressor
- if bullying behaviour persists, talk to the principal or a safe schools administrator with your board
- talk to the parents of your child’s bullies
- encourage your child to be open and honest with you about what they’re experiencing and who is doing it
- encourage your child to stand up, report and defend others they may see being bullied

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The Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program, presented by Tim Hortons, wrapped up its 12th successful year this spring. It has effectively grown in popularity throughout both the elementary and secondary school levels, reaching over 35,000 students in the 2012-2013 school year. With support from the Canadian Safe School Network, the Huddle Up Program continues to inspire youth and empower them to take action towards bullying prevention in their schools.

Designed for students in grade 3 to 12, Huddle Up sees Toronto Argonaut Players, Cheerleaders, and program staff, working together to powerfully support and covey our bullying prevention messages for both targets and bystanders.

You can learn more about this innovative and important program and how it can help your school HERE.

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In proud association with YOUCAN, The Canadian Safe School Network is pleased and honoured to be presenting this year’s National Restorative Justice Symposium. This year’s symposium will be held in Toronto this November.

The National Restorative Justice Symposium Planning Committee invites interested individuals/groups to present workshops that will share best practices, ideas and strategies reflecting the 2013 theme Inspiring Innovation as set out below:

In an ever-evolving world of competing demands it is imperative that any field employ innovative approaches in order to remain current and relevant. Restorative justice is an innovative approach to address the harms caused by crime and conflict, to address issues left unresolved, and to achieve a sense of satisfaction, accountability, and safety.
Through the creative application of restorative justice approaches, modified to meet the needs of individual participants, the field has begun to transcend its conventional justice parameters.

The theme Inspiring Innovation encourages us to share leading edge examples of restorative justice. It is also meant to explore additional innovations in delivering services. For example, technology is now being used to deliver services in inventive ways and there are new approaches to fundraising and collaboration.

Restorative justice practitioners are continuing to pioneer services that meet the dynamic needs of people in all social spheres. In addition to showcasing the field’s achievements, this theme will motivate groups and communities to seek new and imaginative ways to expand this valuable work.

Interested parties can download the CALL FOR PRESENTERS below and send completed applications to:

Mandy Halabi, YOUCAN Youth Services
mandy.halabi@youcan.ca
Fax: (780) 444 3349

P.O. Box 62041
Edmonton, Alberta
T5M 4B5

NRJS Call for Presenters v2 Final 2013-05-30 EN

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The Canadian Safe School Network is excited to announce plans to bring an important professional development event to Regina, Saskatchewan this fall!

On Monday, October 28th, join us for the Positive School Climate & Youth Engagement Conference at the Delta Regina.

This timely one-day PD event will feature workshops and presentations on anti-bullying strategies, LGBTQ youth inclusion & GSAs, racism, creating a positive school climate, First Nations youth engagement, health & wellness and much more. The day will also feature a dedicated student stream of workshops for those in Grades 7-12.

The day will begin with a keynote address from acclaimed speaker Michael Redhead Champagne. MC is the founder of ARROWS Youth Engagement and AYO! and a powerful voice for the First Nations youth community in his home province of Manitoba. From the Shamattawa Cree Nation and raised in the north end of Winnipeg, MC speaks passionately with the message that “programs don’t change people – relationships change people!” He moves and captivates his audience with his straight up style combined with energy and passion igniting the hopes of his listeners.

Full workshop information and schedules will be available on the CSSN website in mid-July.

Save the date and make plans to join CSSN in Regina this October!

Student Conference Registration Rate: $50/person
Earlybird Conference Registration Rate: $250/person
Regular Conference Registration Rate: $275/person (after September 27th)

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CSSN’s Dave Fraser joined Jennifer Burke on CTV News Channel at noon to discuss Ottawa’s newly introduced anti-bullying initiative. The program was announced this morning by Prime Minister Harper’s wife, Laureen, along with Heritage Minister James Moore and Alan Hubley, father of Kanata, ON., bullying victim Jamie Hubley.

You can view the full interview HERE.

“Bullying is a serious concern for many youth and their families, and we think it’s important to invest in a project that focuses on preventing it,” said Minister Moore. “This will be a great opportunity for young people to become leaders in their schools, organizations and communities, and to play a meaningful role in ensuring safer environments for themselves and their peers.”

With this investment, more than 50,000 youth from across Canada will help prevent bullying. The first part of the project involves training 2,400 facilitators, aged 13 to 17, to deliver prevention workshops and other activities. They will each commit to reaching at least 20 other youth in their communities. In the second part, three youth-led forums in the Atlantic region, Ontario, and British Columbia will empower 150 Canadian youth to take action against bullying and discrimination in their communities. Project participants will also be invited to learn about the success stories of other young people through the Canadian Red Cross bilingual Web portal.

The Government of Canada is providing funding of $250,000 through the Youth Take Charge program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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The Canadian Safe School Network is excited and honoured to be participating in the upcoming Dare To Stand Out summit organized by Jer’s Vision.

Canada’s First National LGBTQ-A * service provider summit will be held in Toronto during the last week of June. The summit will bring together organizations from across the country to exchange information and best practices, participate in two days of workshops, and help to develop a national vision for the future of our LGBTQ-A* youth.

The 2-day Summit will bring together Executive Directors, Board Members and Program Managers from across the country on June 26 & 27, 2013 at Ryerson University, in Toronto. The schedule hopes to: 1) Create a space for networking and relationship building; 2) Offer some incredible Professional Development; and 3) Explore some national visioning and look towards what might be desired in a second event.

Further information about and registration for this great event are available HERE.

We look forward to collaborating with our peers from across the country!

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On May 22nd, CSSN was pleased and proud to be part of the Ontario College of Teachers’ Safety in Learning Environments symposium held in Toronto, ON.

Along with American cyber-safety and lockdown experts, Amy & Amanda Klinger, CSSN president Stu Auty addressed a gymnasium full of educators, law enforcement and media about the evolution of school safety issues in Canada.

While the Klingers offered data and statistics on school shootings in the US, as well as alternatives to lockdown procedures and tips on appropriate use of social media technology, CSSN was able to provide a uniquely Canadian perspective on the changes in school safety over the past three decades.

OCT presents similar symposia featuring CSSN in Ottawa, London and Thunder Bay in the coming days.

You can view various news reports on the symposium, featuring Stu Auty, via the links below:

CBC Toronto
CHCH News
The Toronto Star

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On Sunday, May 19th, we were pleased and proud to present the 2013 CSSN TD Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying to representatives of the GSA from F.H. Collins Secondary School, Whitehorse YT.

The presentation took place at the OUTShine Summit, hosted by Egale Canada, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto.

We were exceptionally pleased that noted speaker Ivan Coyote was able to be part of the presentation.

Ivan, born and raised in Whitehorse, is a graduate of F.H. Collins and spoke poignantly about the differences between the school in the 1980s and today, thanks in large part to the efforts of students like those who were on hand to accept the award.

CSSN extends its deepest thanks to Ivan for being part of the presentation, Egale Canada for making time at the OUTShine Summit for the presentation, and TD for its generous sponsorship of the award and its ongoing commitment to supporting LGBTQ youth and safe schools issues.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s award nominations!

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May 6th-11th is Children’s Mental Health Week in Ontario. The week is meant to raise awareness of mental health issues in young people, nearly 20% of whom are affected by some type of mental health or behavioural disorder in Canada.

According to Children’s Mental Health Ontario, data from 24,000 intake interviews conducted in 2012 with kids referred to for help at provincial children’s mental health centres shows a quarter of kids interviewed had an anxiety problem and more than one-third showed some signs of depression. (The Windsor Star, May 6, 2013)

Mental health and behavioural issues are among the leading causes of bullying and aggression issues among youth and in our schools.

The aim of Children’s Mental Health Week is to break down the stigma around such issues, encourage open and honest dialogue, and to help ensure that all children can grow up safely and happily.

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The Canadian Safe School Network is very pleased and excited to announce the winner of this year’s CSSN/TD Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying.

We received many outstanding submissions and our selection committee had the daunting task of evaluating each and every project, video, essay and piece of artwork. We were overwhelmed with what we saw. There is some amazing work going on in Canada to promote inclusion and acceptance.

The winner of this year’s CSSN/TD Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying is the Ecole F.H. Collins Secondary School GSA from Whitehorse, YT.

We would like to extend our congratulations to the members of the GSA at F.H. Collins who have worked diligently and with dedication to create inclusion and acceptance not only within their school – but across their community!

F.H. Collins Secondary established the first GSA north of the 60˚ line in Canada which has gone on to tackle many of the challenges facing marginalized youth in their school and throughout the community. They have also extended the services and support of their GSA to those at other schools who are not permitted to form such an alliance.

You can learn more about the efforts of the F.H. Collins GSA in the video below.

FH Collin’s Ally Day from Christine Klaassen-St Pierre on Vimeo.

Our most sincere congratulations to everyone who submitted a nomination or application for this award. You are all doing incredible work to make our schools and communities safer and more inclusive!

The CSSN/TD Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying will be presented to representatives from Ecole F.H. Collins on the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia later this month.

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In response to a rash of recent high-profile bullying cases across the country, governments both provincial and federal have begun crafting legislative responses to this ongoing problem.

On Friday, CSSN’s Dave Fraser appeared on CTV News Channel to discuss the impact of such legislation and why laws are not a “bottom line solution.” Dave discussed the need for society to step up – whether it’s parents advocating for their children, educators learning the signs and symptoms of bullying situations, or friends refusing to be bystanders to bullying behaviour.

You can view the full interview with Jacqueline Milczarek below.

VIDEO LINK: “CSSN: Society Needs To Step Up”

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On behalf of Joe Jamieson, Deputy Registrar, Ontario College of Teachers, you are invited to an Ontario College of Teachers Symposium on Safety in Learning Environments.

You and others from your organization are invited to attend a symposium on safety in conjunction with the formal release of the College’s fourth professional advisory Safety in Learning Environments: A Shared Responsibility.

Join OCT to learn more about:

• the College’s advice on safety in learning environments to its members
• leading and innovative research regarding school lockdown procedures, the use of social media in crisis situations, and school intruders
• effective practices to keep students safe.

Representatives from the American Educators’ Safe School Network and the Canadian Safe School Network have been invited to share their expertise on these important issues.

The symposiums will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST:

• Wednesday, May 22nd – Toronto (with simultaneous interpretation)
• Thursday, May 23rd – Ottawa (with simultaneous interpretation)
• Friday, May 24th – London
• Monday, May 27th – Thunder Bay

For more information, please contact:

outreach@oct.ca or call 416-961-8800, ext. 608 (toll-free in Ontario at 1-888-534-2222, ext. 608).

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CSSN offers extensive, in-depth safe schools certification training to educators looking to enhance or refresh their knowledge of important school safety issues.

Offered at our annual Safe Schools Certification Institute each summer, boards can also request specific group training at any point during the year. We bring our experienced and knowledgeable trainers to you and provide intensive two-day training that will put your educators ahead of the curve!

Topics covered include …

Part One: Safe Schools Legislation, School Culture & the Promotion of Positive Student Behaviour, Investigations, Progressive Discipline & Restorative Practices, Police & School Board Protocal, Bullying & Harassment Issues

Part Two: Search & Seizure, Legal Issues, Gangs, Emergency Preparedness, Trespass to Property, Cybersafety, Risk & Threat Assessment

Part Three: Legislation In Depth, Dealing with Irate Parents, Mental Health Issues … and more.

Our training is divided into three modules, each a prerequisite for the next. Certification training is available for groups of up to 50-60 people.

Each participant receives a wealth of documentation, case studies and legislation as part of their registration – invaluable resource material that we have assembled just for this training!

Contact CSSN for further information about our Safe Schools Certification Training!

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New York City-based singer and songwriter Ryan Amador has released a powerful new video for his song “Define Me,” on which he duets with Jo Lampert.

The video has Amador and Lampert sing of being defined by others’ words as they strip down to reveal hateful slurs written on their bodies. Take a moment to watch this incredible video!

All proceeds from sales of the track will be donated to various organizations that are involved in supporting and ensuring LGBTQ equality.

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Join us in just over a week for a very special CSSN event: Bully – Let’s Take A Stand.

Held at the Delta Toronto Airport West in Mississauga, ON, this special one-day conference will feature a screening of the award-winning documentary, Bully. This film shines an unflinching light on a disturbing social epidemic that touches all communities. Through the intimate and often heartbreaking stories of five kids and their families, Bully shows the devastating impact of bullying and inspires audiences to work for change.

Following the film, attendees will hear from leading experts on a number of themes in the film, from mental health, suicide and communicating with parents and students.

Special guests include:

Dave Coombs, Superintendent of School Effectiveness, Upper Canada District School Board
Bill 13 – Managing Expectations

Terry Kharyati, Principal, Western Quebec School Board
(featured in CBC’s award-winning documentary, #bullyPROOF)
Creating a Positive School Climate – Leading By Example

Jeremy Dias, Jer’s Vision & International Day Of Pink
The Issues Facing LGBTQ-A* Students & Building Safer Spaces

Registration is available online HERE.

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Are you a high school administrator who works to resolve bullying cases within your school? Or are you a high school teacher who may have been bullied by a co-worker?

Would you like to share your story to increase awareness about bullying in schools or the workplace and help improve the way such cases are dealt with?

Participants are needed for confidential interviews as part of a Ph.D. study.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Yvonne Bienko, Ph.D. Candidate at 416.877.6036 or yvonne.bienko@utoronto.ca.

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Does anti-bullying legislation make an impact? And how and WHY does such legislation differ so vastly from province to province? CSSN president Stu Auty joined CTV’s Sandie Rinaldo and Calgary parent Wayne Frisch to discuss this timely issue.

You can view the full CTV News segment HERE.

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The Ontario girl whose demand for a code word thwarted an abduction attempt is being hailed as a street-proofing success story but Canadian Safe School Network president Stu Auty warns that there are cons to go along with the pros of counting on a code word to ensure youth safety.

Stu appeared on CTV News to discuss the situation, praising the cool head and quick thinking of a 10-year old Ajax girl this week – but warns that more steps need to be taken to ensure that your child is safe if they’re out in the world alone.

Stu’s full interview can be viewed online HERE … and you can read more about the issue and CSSN’s comments in today’s Globe & Mail.

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Join CSSN’s friends and partners at PREVNet for their 7th Annual Conference in Toronto this May. This year’s conference theme is Mental Health & Bullying Prevention.

PREVNet’s 7th annual conference, It’s Everybody’s Role to Promote Mental Health and Prevent Bullying, is an excellent opportunity to discover evidence-based knowledge, strategies and tools to prevent bullying.

Learn tips and strategies to prevent bullying that you can use every day.

• Find out the current state of bullying prevention legislation and how you can develop an effective policy.
• Learn how educators use healing relationships and caring school communities to help children exposed to bullying.
• Discover how to turn your own child into a model “E-citizen” – one that is ethical, empathetic, engaged and empowered.
• Get the latest information on the roles of parents, individuals and organizations in reducing cyberbullying.
• Explore new tools to identify children who may bully and how to help them.

Full conference details can be found HERE.

PREVNet’s mission is to stop bullying in Canada and to promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth. Led by Scientific Co-directors, Dr. Debra Pepler of York University and Dr. Wendy Craig of Queen’s University, this national network of more than 65 leading Canadian research scientists and 50 national youth-serving organizations is the first of its kind in Canada. It provides an unprecedented national opportunity for social-cultural change, designed to foster powerful partnerships between universities, government and youth serving organizations to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

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Canadian students! Over the next few months, CSSN will be asking for your input and your opinions on a number of safe schools issues! We can’t help to make schools safer and more accepting in Canada without hearing from you!
Please take a couple of minutes to answer this month’s survey and you could win a $25.00 Indigo gift card!

This month’s survey can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T9QF3HD

And please share this survey with your friends! The more answers we get, the more we can help!

This survey will be active until April 12th, 2013.

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CSSN is thrilled to announce that nominations are now open for The Canadian Safe School Network/TD Award For Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying.

In association with The Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) and TD Bank, this award is to be presented to a publicly-funded school, elementary or secondary, that has demonstrated excellence in the development, creation or promotion of an in-school initiative to counter LGBTQ bullying. The successful recipient school will be awarded a financial prize of $2500.00 CDN.

“We support Canadian Safe Schools because we are invested in the issues that impact the communities we serve. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone and recognizing those who share that vision,” says Tim Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, TD Asset Management, in announcing the award.

“It is important, particularly in light of so much publicity around these issues in the past year, to take this opportunity to recognize those who are working together toward positive change for all students,” adds Dave Fraser, Director of Special Projects & Social Media with CSSN.

Examples of potential applicable initiatives could include, but are not limited to:

- Exceptional work by a school-based GSA or organization in the promotion of inclusion and safety for LGBTQ students
- Creating a play, presentation, artwork, or video promoting anti-LGBTQ bullying

Criteria

• Any publicly funded school, elementary or secondary, in Canada (not including Quebec) is eligible to submit an application *
• Initiative or extraordinary achievement must have taken place during the 2012/2013 academic year.
• Initiative must have direct correlation to LGBTQ bullying or LGBTQ inclusion/school safety issues
• A representative of the recipient school should ideally be available to attend the International Day to End Homophobia & Transphobia in Toronto, Ontario, on May 17th, 2013


Applicants must include the following with their application:

• Nomination Form, completed in its entirety
• Nominator’s written description of the nominee’s contribution to safe schools, focused on anti-LGBTQ bullying (no more than 250 words)
• Nominee’s qualifying essay of up to 500 words in length, describing his/her contribution to the reduction of LGBTQ bullying. The essay should briefly outline the circumstances that motivated this initiative, what learning was derived from the experience and what was accomplished
• Any relevant supporting documentation, materials, web links, etc.

Application Deadline

All completed applications must be received no later than April 19th, 2013.

The complete application package (download below) can be mailed to:

Dave Fraser
Director of Special Projects & Social Media
The Canadian Safe School Network
111 Peter St., Suite 608
Toronto, ON. M5V2H1

The completed application package can also be emailed to:
dave@canadiansafeschools.com

Presentation

The award will be formally presented on May 17th, 2013, the International Day to End Homophobia & Transphobia at an event to be determined in Toronto, ON.

* La Fondation Jasmin Roy will present a parallel award in the province of Quebec.


Media inquiries should also be directed to Dave Fraser, contact information above.

CSSN TD IDAHOT Award Application Package

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The Canadian Safe School Network would like to thank everyone who helped to make our recent 8th Annual Saskatchewan Safe Schools Conference such a success!

Teachers, administrators, law enforcement staff, and students enjoyed outstanding keynote addresses and a series of excellent and informative workshops on a wide variety of safe schools issues

Particular thanks go to our five brilliant keynote speakers:

- Mile Komlen, McMaster University
- Mary Hall, Safe Schools Manitoba
- Michael Redhead Champagne, ARROWS Youth Engagement
- Leo Barbe, Think Don’t Shoot
- Thomas Hall, The Pan Am Clinic Foundation

Rave reviews were received for all five of our keynote speakers, with students lining up to get autographs and take photos with our presenters!

Special thanks to TD Bank for its generous support of the Saskatchewan Student Stream on Inclusion & Acceptance.

We look forward to our next visit to Saskatchewan – this Fall in Regina – and are already making plans for next year’s 9th Annual Safe Schools Conference!

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“My 7 year old daughter is being bullied by a neighbor boy in her class. He has choked my daughter and most recently punched her in the face when she got off the bus. There are numerous other instances which are being ignored or avoided by the school. I have never encountered this kind of physical violence against my child before and some of the bullying has taken place outside of school, so I am wondering what I can do or should do to protect my daughter.”

You have asked for some direction and are feeling helpless and confused by the school’s approach to dealing with a student that has been violent toward your children. That is very understandable. It is very worrying to send your children to school each day when you are not sure they will be safe. Sometimes when parents bring their concerns to the school, it may seem as though it hasn’t been heard because there are 20 things going on in the halls or the playground when you are trying to discuss the problem, and the messages get lost. It helps if you create an opportunity to focus on the issue in a quiet place and it emphasizes the importance and urgency of it.

• First, I suggest that you write down the date, time and short detail of every incident you can remember …what happened, who saw it and who intervened.
• Reassure your children by telling them that you believe them when they tell you about an incident, being careful not to escalate their fears but rather to let them know that you will always listen and help them with strategies.
• Make an appointment and meet with the Principal/Vice Principal and bring a copy of the details of your concerns to the meeting.
• Ask the principal to work with you to make a plan to keep your kids safe while riding the school bus and at school both in and out of the classroom. Let him/her know that you understand that the aggressive child must be an on going challenge and there may not be adequate outside support to assist in controlling his behaviour. It helps if you demonstrate that while you understand the challenge, you are not ready to ignore it.
• The plan might include seating the aggressive child at the front of the bus in a seat with a much older child, providing a buddy system for your kids in the playground, and perhaps weekly follow up phone calls from the Principal or teacher to discuss how the plan is working.

If you do not get the help you are looking for you might try involving the superintendent assigned to your school or call the School Board and speak to the Superintendent in charge of Safe Schools and seek advice.

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Creating positive and encouraging experiences for youth, as well as projects that allow them to work with peers who may not seem like natural collaborators, is an excellent way to foster cooperation, respect and a sense of community among students.

One such story is outlined below – an exciting and innovative program within the Toronto District School Board that has helped youth to develop the skills necessary to collaborate and find their own voices and identities in the process. A truly admirable initiative!

TDSB teacher Michael Erickson

A special course in Pop Music at Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto is producing some unique results. Grade 10 student Ellie Barkman has made it into the Toronto Top 20 for the CBC Searchlight Music Contest and she credits the work of students in the course for her success so far. It’s also changed how Ellie sees herself as an artist.

“I didn’t really know I was that good until this happened. Now it feels like everyone is listening to my music and saying great things.” says Ellie Barkman “I definitely couldn’t have done this myself. I feel like I am part of a team – there is so much the other students are doing that I wouldn’t have thought of or couldn’t have done alone.”

Created in 2010, and drawing from models of other Interdisciplinary (IDC) courses across Toronto, the vision behind the Grade 11 Pop Music class was to offer a course that was open to students of all skills levels, providing them the opportunity to basically build their own program with the support and guidance of a teacher. Students learn the basics of: songwriting and music structure; audio and video recording and production; branding, marketing and promotion; trends and culture; and music history. The course is mostly production-based and often simulates real world creative arts production situations.

“I love the marketing aspects of this course.” says student Pauline Nguyen, age 16. “I would like to start my own record label in the near future and I’m gaining the confidence and skills to do it. I am learning how to work with different types of musicians and how to promote them.”

Nothing has been as challenging – or as successful – as the CBC Searchlight Music Contest. With less than two weeks before the deadline, students were put into production and marketing teams (not with people of their choosing), they had to ‘sign’ a Harbord C.I. student musician, produce a song, do a photo shoot, write a bio, and enter the CBC contest. Harbord C.I. ended up submitting a whopping 10 entries.

“The students have gone way beyond my hopes and expectations,” says teacher Michael Erickson. “Sometimes, when students are forced to work with people who aren’t like them, it can be difficult. But not this time. It’s been inspiring to see them support each other, create unique work and find their voice. It’s like watching a whole new community form and grow.”

With their combined effort, Ellie Barkman has risen to Toronto’s Top 20 out of over 200 other entries. She’s been compared to Regina Spektor and Ingrid Michaelson and at 15 years old her talent is astounding. Facing both established and seasoned competition, Ellie is holding her own. Her song ‘As Long As’ is getting more plays than most of the other entries across Canada and all ages have found her music compelling, honest and magical.

The second round of voting continues until Sunday March 3rd to determine which musicians will make it into the Toronto Top 5.

Ellie Barkman’s CBC profile can be seen here: http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/Ellie-Barkman

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Across the country, tens of thousands of Canadians donned pink shirts yesterday to raise awareness about youth bullying.

Pink Shirt Day, now in its sixth year, is observed on the final Wednesday of the month of February. Started in Nova Scotia in 2007 in response to students seeing a younger schoolmate being bullied for wearing pink, this anti-bullying initiative has now spread across Canada.

And it’s not just students taking part this year! Our friends & partners at The Toronto Argos traded in the double-blue for pink to spend the day at a high school in Markham, while members of the Vancouver Police Department put on their pink shirts to visit an elementary school.

CSSN President Stu Auty appeared on CITYNews Channel earlier on Wednesday to discuss the evolution of Pink Shirt Day and the importance of awareness events like this.

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This past weekend, CSSN was honoured to be invited to join Dream Bridge Exchange for a fantastic networking event for LGBTQ youth and allies at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto. Dream Bridge is working diligently to provide and create networking opportunities for youth throughout the GTA and beyond.

Dream Bridge works to empower LGBTQ youth through “collaborative community events” that provide them with the opportunity to network and socialize with peers and businesses to cultivate both entrepreneurial and employment possibilities.

The Dream Bridge team supports a wide variety of youth including those affected by poverty, homelessness, abuse, abandonment and those in the foster care system, as well as any LGBTQ youth seeking professional mentorship to take a successful step into the employment market.

CSSN is excited to support the efforts of Dream Bridge and to partner with the organization on future events and resources for youth.

You can learn more about Dream Bridge Exchange on their website and follow them on Twitter!

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On Tuesday, February 26th, the Canadian Safe School Network was privileged to hold our 16th Annual Safe Schools Conference in Toronto. Over 300 delegates from school boards, police forces and organizations across Ontario joined us for a full day of engaging keynotes and exciting, informative workshops.

Many thanks to our excellent keynote speakers Mark Kelley of CBC’s The Fifth Estate and Kiaras Gharabaghi of Ryerson University for their addresses, as well as the 20+ speakers who provided breakout sessions throughout the day.

Terrence McKillen of The Terrence & Svea McKillen Foundation welcomes the audience and introduces CBC’s Mark Kelley.

Mark Kelley of CBC’s The Fifth Estate describes the findings and effects of his documentary #bullyProof to a captivated audience.

CSSN President Stu Auty and Colleen Murdoch, the organizer of this incredibly successful event, took a moment to pose for a photo. Below, CSSN staffers Yasmin & Joanna take a break from the registration desk to show us their smiles.

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CSSN President Stu Auty recently delivered the commencement address and was awarded the prestigious Caritas Medal at Niagara University’s Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education convocation ceremony.

The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, president of Niagara University, presided at commencement ceremonies and conferred over 200 degrees during the proceedings.

Stu was honoured for his commitment to the development of safe schools resources and the administration of professional development and research aimed at ensuring safe, inclusive schools and communities across the country.

Niagara University offers a bachelor’s degree in teacher education, with programs in primary-junior and intermediate-senior teacher preparation, at sites in Toronto and York. The university, founded in 1856, has written consent from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer its programs, which are accredited by the Ontario College of Teachers. It has offered education programs in Ontario for more than 30 years.

Congratulations Stu!

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Celebrated Canadian spoken word poet Shane Koyczan, who shot to national fame with his piece “We Are More” at the Vancouver Olympics, has developed and launched an important new video project to help educators and families come together in response to youth bullying.

Responding to the fact that bullying has spread well beyond schoolyards and classrooms and into the broader community, Shane’s powerful poem and video calls on the community to respond.

Shane, who acknowledges that after years of being a bullying victim he himself became a perpetrator, says: “I’ve spent years working to restore the better parts of my nature. I want to cheer on the underdog, celebrate the strengths in the lonely and outcast, and reassure the despondent that endurance is a kind of credential for this life.”

You can learn more about Shane Koyczan’s #ToThisDay initiative HERE.

Family Day Holiday

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The Canadian Safe School Network offices will be closed on Monday, February 18th, to observe the Ontario Family Day holiday.

We will return to regular hours on Tuesday the 19th.

We hope everyone in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan enjoys a safe and happy long weekend!

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The Canadian Safe School Network is able to continue its fundamental work thanks to the ongoing support of our dedicated sponsors and partners.

One of these sponsors is The Terence & Svea McKillen Foundation, based in Toronto, ON. The Foundation’s primary goals are to support fellow Canadians in creating more innovative, inclusive, caring, sustainable, and vibrant communities and encouraging all to contribute to the common good.

The foundation, headed by Terence & Svea McKillen, has sponsored CSSN’s National Safe Schools Conference and provided funding to allow students to attend numerous conferences and professional development events across the country.

Our thanks to The McKillen Foundation for their generous support!

You can learn more about the Foundation at http://www.mckillenfoundation.org/

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Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, an annual event when Canadians from coast to coast join in the important conversation about mental health awareness.

Two out of three people affected by mental health issues live their lives in silence, often in fear of judgement because of the ongoing stigma surrounding this illness. Each day, an estimated half-million Canadian miss work or school because of mental health issues.

How can you help? You don’t even have to change your daily routine to make a contribution – if you’re with Bell, simply send a text, tweet or make a long distance call. Bell will donate 5 cents each time you do directly to mental health programs.

If you’re not a Bell customer, just share the Bell “Let’s Talk” image on Facebook and the same contribution will be made.

CSSN has been the grateful recipient of support from Bell over the years … and we are happy to participate in and promote this important initiative.

And let’s keep talking after today is over!

“Fighting the stigma is the first and most important step in moving mental health forward. By talking openly, we’re letting those who suffer know there is support and understanding, and that our focus is helping them get better”Clara Hughes, Canadian Olympian and national ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk.

Saskatoon Student Conference

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The Canadian Safe School Network: Student Conference On Engagement & Inclusion

Through the generous support of TD Bank, CSSN is pleased to offer a one-day conference for students in Saskatchewan!

This important and informative one-day conference will take place on Friday, March 8th at the Travelodge Saskatoon, in conjunction with The 8th Annual Safe Schools Conference.

Students are invited to attend a full day of keynote addresses and breakout sessions, featuring:

Think Don’t Shoot!
Leo Barbe

Youth Engagement
Michael Redhead Champagne

Student Leadership
Thomas Hall

Being An Ally
The Avenue Community Centre

Creating Trans-Acceptance in your School & GSA
The Prince Albert Q-Network

This conference will be of particular interest to LGBTQ students and allies with a focus on creating a safe, positive environment for LGBTQ and Aboriginal peers.

The CSSN Student Conference is being offered at a rate of $50/student. This fee includes a full day of programming, light breakfast, lunch & breaks!

Space is limited so don’t delay! Register your students ONLINE today!

CSSN at CIBC Miracle Day

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CIBC Miracle Day is an employee-driven fundraiser that started at a Wood Gundy branch in 1984. Every year, on the first Wednesday in December, CIBC’s wholesale banking employees and participating CIBC Wood Gundy Investment Advisors donate their fees and commissions to help kids in need. Since its inception, Miracle Day has raised $64 million for children’s charities across Canada and $214 million globally.

In December 2012, the Canadian Safe School Network was honoured to be the recipient of a donation made possible by CIBC Miracle Day.

CSSN president Stu Auty and supporter Steve Craig were on hand for the cheque presentation – and to meet Miracle Day celebrity Mark Wahlberg (not pictured)!

Thank you to CIBC – one of our most committed and longstanding CSSN supporters!

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CSSN is pleased to assist our friends at the Manitoba Teachers’ Society with the the promotion of “The Every Teacher Project: Canadian Study of Educators’ Experiences of LGBTQ-inclusive Education.”

The Every Teacher Project is a national study of educators’ perceptions and experiences of LGBTQ-inclusive education led by Dr. Catherine Taylor in partnership with Manitoba Teachers’ Society. This study is an opportunity for educational staff to share their knowledge and experiences of working with LGBTQ children and youth, and of LGBTQ-inclusive education. Every national, provincial and territorial teacher organization in English Canada is participating in the study.

The survey is open to educators from K-12, including school support staff. It is open to educators working in private and charter schools, as well as public schools, parochial schools and cultural schools. You do not have to be a member of a teacher organization to participate.

The survey will remain open until March 4 2013. Focus groups and interviews will follow. A French version will be available in early 2013, but francophone teachers are welcome to respond in French to the English version.

There have been participants from every province and territory so far, but we need many, many more to get a clear picture of what is happening in schools across Canada.

Educators can contact their teacher organizations for information about how to participate, or contact the research team at everyteacherproject@gmail.com to receive a web link to participate.

Toronto Raptorts Proud To Play

CSSN is always happy to promote the initiatives of our friends & partners. We’ve been very proud to support Toronto PFLAG and Egale Canada in the past and to have them present and exhibit at our Safe Schools Conferences.

In support of these two important organizations, the Toronto Raptors are providing $20 tickets to their game against the Denver Nuggets on February 12th at the ACC. $2.00 from the sale of each ticket will be donated to Toronto PFLAG and Egale to support their ongoing efforts to raise awareness and make Canada a better place for LGBTQ youth.

If you would like to add your voice in support and enjoy a great game, all you need to do is call 416.815.4312 and quote “Proud To Play” for discounted tickets. You can also visit www.raptors.com/ticketpass and use the code “PROUDTOPLAY.”

We hope to see you there!

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CSSN has been very fortunate to have the ongoing support of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles for the past two seasons.

John-Michael has participated in our charity golf tournament alongside teammates like Jake Gardiner & NHL legends – and he has generously donated a suite at the Air Canada Centre for a number of games. John-Michael’s generous donation has allowed CSSN to give numerous groups of students from around the GTA and Southern Ontario the opportunity to attend their first professional hockey games!

On January 24th, CSSN was proud to host a group of fantastic students as the Leafs took on the Islanders at the ACC! A great time was had by all – despite a loss – and we thank John-Michael and the Leafs for their ongoing support of our organization!

Early bird deadline extended

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Due to some technical issues with older web browsers, some have had some difficulties registering for our upcoming conference in Toronto on Feb 26th. We’ve now fed the hamsters and our server is running at full speed once again. If you weren’t able to get in previously at our special early bird pricing, we thought it would be fairest to all to extend the deadline by a week so those that had issues wouldn’t have to suffer financially because of it. So don’t delay and sign up now to take advantage of early bird pricing and join us for our upcoming national conference.

When Nobody’s Listening

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“What if the bully never stops? He just gets more people helping him. From Kyle.”

Kyle,

I don’t know what you have done so far to stop the person from bullying you but here is what needs to be done now.

• Ask for help from an adult you trust and who has the power to stop the bullying.

• When you ask for help, be sure you tell the adult the details i.e. where it happens and how often, who helps or joins in, who else sees what they actually do, what you do when it happens.

• It really helps if you can write it all down because then the adult has the story straight and knows you are very serious and worried about it. If it is happening at school you can ask your parent to come with you to talk to the Principal, Vice Principal, teacher or counsellor.

• Bullying is not acceptable at any time but it is hard to stop by yourself so keep asking until you get the help you need to be safe.

You can print this email and take it with you when you ask for help from an adult so they will realize that you are trying hard to figure out what to do to solve a REAL problem.

I hope you find someone to listen and give you a hand.

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On Monday, January 28th, CSSN was set to host a “Creating a Positive School Environment” conference in Calgary, Alberta. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, we have no choice but to cancel the conference.

It is our hope to reschedule the event for the Fall of 2013. Further details will be made available when this is confirmed.

If you had already registered for the January 28th Calgary event, a full refund will be provided. Individual registrants will be contacted by email to make refund arrangements.

Our sincere apologies for the late notice of cancellation. We look forward to rescheduling and visiting Calgary as soon as possible.

A Powerful PSA

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An online Canadian initiative aims to end the use of casual homophobic language and has launched a powerful new PSA to stop the proliferation of anti-gay slurs that can be unintentionally offensive and hurtful to the gay community.

Dr. Kristopher Wells of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta spearheaded the creation of www.nohomophobes.com – a website that monitors and exposes homophobic words, language and slurs used on social media.

A new PSA draws attention to the NoHomophobes initiative, as well as to the casual use of gay slurs in everyday language and how harmful these terms can be to members of the gay community, particularly vulnerable LGBTQ youth.

Dr. Wells will give the keynote presentation at CSSN’s “Creating a Positive School Climate” conference in Winnipeg on January 25th.

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The CSSN team were disappointed yesterday to learn of the termination of our good friend and constant supporter Brian Burke from his position as President & GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Since connecting with CSSN in 2011, Brian has been a constant source of support and advice for the organization. He served as the Honorary Chair of last year’s Unforgettable Dinner and presented our highly successful charity golf tournament last summer. Brian has also provided opening remarks at conferences and has spoken highly of the work of CSSN at numerous appearances and events.

Through his efforts, Brian has encouraged others to become involved not only with CSSN but with a community-wide effort to eliminate bullying and homophobic behaviour.

We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Brian and wish him well in both his new role with MLSE and all of his future endeavours.

CSSN President Stu Auty spoke to The Toronto Star about Brian’s contributions, while Director of Special Projects & Social Media Dave Fraser is quoted in The Globe & Mail about Brian’s involvement with the organization.

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The 16th Annual Canadian Safe Schools Conference is quickly approaching!

This year’s conference, to be held at the International Centre in Toronto, ON., features a keynote address from Gemini Award-winning CBC journalist Mark Kelley, host of the noted documentary #bullyProof.

Over 25 workshops throughout the day will cover a wealth of topics including:

- cybersafety
- sexual assault
- legal issues
- school climate
- gangs
- and much more!

You can register online through our website or you can download a Registration Form below and send it to us by fax.

For further information about the conference, as well as exhibitor & sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Colleen Murdoch
colleen@canadiansafeschools.com
416.977.1050

Safe Schools Conference Registration Form

Happy Holidays From CSSN

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It’s hard to believe another year has come and almost gone! 2012 has certainly been a challenge for many – and it’s been an exciting year for us!

The Canadian Safe School Network has been able to expand our services to new provinces this year and spread our message to more and more educators, administrators and students across the country. We’ve also been excited to connect with so many of you through the power of social media, on Twitter and Facebook and through our newly-redesigned website. We look forward to even more interaction with our supporters in the new year!

Thank you to our many supporters and friends for an exceptional year. We saw sold-out conferences, an amazing charity golf tournament, and a full house at our annual Unforgettable Dinner. We can’t wait to share with you what we’ve got planned for next year.

From all of us at the Canadian Safe School Network, we extend best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season with your friends and families! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

The CSSN office will close on Friday, December 21st and reopen on Monday, January 7th.

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Congratulations to our friends and partners at the Child Development Institute! CDI was honoured last week with a “Social Innovator” award at the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards in Ottawa.

CDI and the Canadian Safe School Network work in partnership to bring the SNAP For Schools program to thousands of students at five major Ontario school boards.

Dr. Leena Augimeri, Director of Scientific and Program Development, (below, centre) accepted the award from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Our heartiest congratulations to everyone at CDI!

CDI's Leena Augimeri Accepts Prestigious PM's Award

Artists Against Bullying

In recent years, a fantastic number of celebrities and pop culture figures have taken a stand against bullying and done their part to help all youth realize their potential and encourage bystanders to do more. We have seen bullying issues take centre stage on TV shows and in big screen movies and there is no doubt this mainstream attention has helped raise awareness and inspire action.

Last month, a collaboration of Canadian performers under the collective name Artists Against Bullying came together to record a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s classic ballad “True Colors” to help youth everywhere struggling with bullying and self-esteem issues.

The group, including the likes of Hedley’s Jacob Hoggard, Pierre Bouvier, Fefe Dobson and Kardinal Offishall, posted the video to YouTube where it has been viewed over 300,000 times in just one month.

We hope this message of inspiration and support will be shared far and wide!

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In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, CSSN President Stu Auty was invited to appear on this weekend’s Question Period on CTV.

Stu joined anchor Kevin Newman and Doron Horowitz from the Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs to discuss the tragedy and Canadian schools’ preparedness to deal with a similar situation here at home.

You can view the full interview HERE

CSSN President Appears on CTV’s Question Period to discuss school shootings

Connecticut School Shooting

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We at the Canadian Safe School Network, like everyone across North America, are shocked and dismayed to learn of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

We express our deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost loved ones, particularly young, innocent children, today.

Today is not a day for political discussion about the rights and wrongs of gun control and firearms regulations – there will be time for that tomorrow. Today is a day of mourning and grief for the victims, survivors and their families.

To have this type of horror happen any day of the year is devastating – but to have it happen mere days before Christmas is particularly disheartening.

Our best wishes and support to the school’s staff and local law enforcement who so effectively saved many lives this morning.

The Canadian Safe School Network

Connecticut

**Media Enquiries: 416.977.1050**

Online behaviour can tag you for life

Educators and administrators should check out this incredibly powerful video on cybersafety created by the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Cybersmart program.

A comprehensive lesson plan is available through the Cybersmart program’s website – however the video itself serves as an excellent awareness and educational aide for anyone focused on the pressing issue of safe, compassionate internet usage.

Positive online behaviour is a trait that must be taught to our youth, as few are aware of the extent to which their digital footprint and reputation can follow them throughout the rest of their lives.

CSSN is happy to share this video with our friends and supporters. Please take the time to view the short and have an informed and important discussion with your students or children!

CSSN President Stu Auty

CSSN President Stu Auty

In November 2011, the Senate Human Rights Committee was mandated by the Senate to study the issue of cyberbullying in Canada. The committee conducted hearings with over sixty witnesses, including academic researchers, volunteers, website operators, government departments, non-government organizations, teachers and students

Earlier this year, CSSN President Stu Auty was invited to speak to the Committee on the issue of cyberbullying and the importance in ensuring proper education on the topic and to promote its inclusion in the Criminal Code of Canada.

On Wednesday, December 12th at 3:45 pm the Standing Senate Committee will hold a press conference on its ongoing review of the issue. Interested parties can view the press conference online at http://senate-senat.ca/RIDR.asp.

CSSN Gives Back

CSSN Staff & John Howard Society
CSSN Staff & John Howard Society

As a charity, the Canadian Safe School Network understands the importance of support and donations from peers and colleagues.

That’s why we were happy to make a donation of BOXES of winter hats to the John Howard Society’s holiday clothing drive.

The JHS’s mandate is “effective, just and humane responses to the causes and consequences of crime” … and CSSN is proud to support that mission!

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Welcome to the new home of the Canadian Safe School Network online!

We’re excited to unveil our new website and introduce new ways for you to interact with us. Our new blog features easy commenting and discussion through your existing Twitter, Facebook or Google accounts. We are eager to hear comments, feedback and your ideas for the issues challenging us today.

From the new site, you’ll be able to view and register for our events without having to create a user account, making attending CSSN conferences and events even easier.

Our goal with the redesign of our website was to make the information that we give to you easier to find, more timely – and allow for much more interaction.

If you haven’t already, find easy one-click options to follow us on Twitter and link up with us on Facebook to receive updates on what we’re up to, plus great links from around the web.

Stay tuned for more helpful content for dealing with bullying and safe school issues in our blog.

If you have any questions or comments about the new site – or you’d like to contribute your thoughts – please comment below or drop us a line!

CSSN Supporter: Megan Landry

Meghan Landry

CSSN is excited to welcome Canadian singer-songwriter Megan Landry to our list of supporters!

At just 16 years old, this extraordinary young artist from Nova Scotia has already achieved awards and accolades far beyond her years. The victim of bullying at school, Megan channeled her energy into a positive response using her song-writing talent. The result was a song called “Stronger,” which Megan posted on YouTube with a video she produced herself.

“Stronger” quickly garnered the attention of numerous anti-bullying groups and the media. To date, the original video version of “Stronger” has logged over 86,000 views on YouTube and inspired dozens of cover versions by youth all across North America.

Earlier this year, Megan was awarded the “Top Female Artist” honour by the Archimedia STAR contest. Megan topped hundreds of other independent artists to earn the award.

Of Megan’s work, Archimedia President Vince Spagnolo said: “Megan’s lyrics are honest and from the heart wrapped in soundscapes that are distinctive, current and deeply personal. Megan, is an artist who has already established her own identity and originality both which are coveted but often elude many of today’s artists.”

We couldn’t agree more … and we look forward to welcoming Megan to Toronto as the featured performer at The 16th Annual Unforgettable Dinner on November 20th!

When Nobody's Listening Presented by TD Bank

“What should you do if you are bullied at the end of recess and can’t go to the teacher outside and the teacher inside tells you to deal with it at recess?”

It sounds like you feel like nobody is listening to your concern about someone picking on you at the end of recess. Often when people do mean things to others, they do it when an adult isn’t looking or when there isn’t an adult around to complain to. That is how they get away with it.

If this person keeps doing mean things to you at that same time, here are a couple thing to try:

  1. Try mentioning it to the recess teacher before recess begins and ask him/her if you can stand next to him/her for a few minutes right at the end of recess. That way, the teacher is aware that you are trying to solve a problem and they may be more willing to help you.
  2. You can ask a friend to stay right beside you for a few minutes right before recess ends. Your friend doesn’t need to say anything, just be there and watch in case anything should happen. When you have someone who can also tell the teacher what happened, it helps the teacher do something about it.
  3. The third thing you might try is to print this email and include it in your journal or give it to your classroom teacher to read in private. When your teacher realizes you are really having a problem and you are trying to solve it yourself, I think they will give you a hand with it.

Hopefully one of those helps. If anyone else has had a similar problem and can offer some advise, please add a comment below.

horseshoe

While kids enjoy the dying days of summer and parents peruse back-to-school flyers, many school administrators are studying up on how to ensure this school year is a safe one. Last week in Horseshoe Valley, over 120 of Ontario’s principals, vice-principals and superintendents took part in a 5 day, 3 part training program conducted by the Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN). read entire article…

intactCheque

The Canadian Safe School Network is grateful for the ongoing support of our sponsors, including Intact Insurance.

For three years, Intact has financially supported distribution of “In The Long Run: Alternatives to Street Life,” an interactive resource that depicts young teens facing “real-life” challenges such as strict rules, academic difficulties, substance abuse, physical or sexual abuse, poverty and bereavement.

Karyn Hamilton & Salima Peerwani from Intact stopped by the CSSN office to present the company’s annual donation to our ongoing efforts.

Visit their website at www.intact.ca

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Stephanie_HHC0401

As with any not-for-profit or charity organization, much of The Canadian Safe School Network’s success can be traced to its diligent and dedicated volunteers. Throughout the year, CSSN volunteers help to promote the good work of the organization in classrooms, boardrooms and online – while others donate their time to speak at conferences and events or to advocate to various levels of government on bullying issues.

One of CSSN’s most dedicated and engaged volunteers is Stephanie Beirne. An Associate with Galileo Funds in Toronto, Stephanie has every reason to not even consider volunteering her time. She works tirelessly in the non-stop world of investments and serves the company in a variety of capacities, including advisor relations and marketing. A graduate of the University of Toronto and an advocate for numerous social causes, Stephanie isn’t willing to ignore the needs of those around her.

Stephanie was connected to CSSN by none other than Brian Burke, President and General Manager of The Toronto Maple Leafs – and a personal friend of her boss. Brian is actively involved in supporting CSSN, particularly in its anti-bullying and LGBTQ-inclusion efforts, and frequently sends people to the organization if they have ideas, energy and talent to share. As a polished marketer and networker, Stephanie was a perfect fit to help CSSN with its annual Golf Classic in the summer of 2012. More than just “help,” however, Stephanie took on far more than was expected of her in a volunteer capacity.

Stephanie took charge of engaging celebrity players for the tournament – including Leafs players like Jake Gardiner and CSSN supporter John-Michael Liles, NHL legends Steve Staios, Dave Poulin and Rick Tocchet, and sportscaster Joe Bowen. Steph used her keen marketing skills to convince numerous suppliers to provide prizes and swag for the tournament – without charging CSSN a penny – and arranged door-to-door transportation for every tournament participant.

Steph’s easygoing yet dedicated approach convinced dozens of the day’s golfers to inquire about more active roles with CSSN themselves, leading to a new crop of volunteers, supporters and personalities eager to step up and take a stand against bullying.

Stephanie can next be found at CSSN’s annual Unforgettable Dinner at the Fairmont Royal York this November, where’ll she help the organization greet arriving guests for the black tie affair before working the room to encourage donations to keep the timely and important work of the Canadian Safe School Network going.

mark-kelley-bio

Mark your calendars now for the annual Safe Schools Conference to be held on February 26th, 2013!

This annual professional development and networking event returns for its 16th year – an excellent opportunity for teachers, administrators, support staff, parent council members, law enforcement officials and more!

This year’s conference features the theme “Creating an Inclusive School Climate for All!”
Once again the Safe Schools Conference will feature a student stream, dedicated to school safety and anti-bullying issues for students and student leaders, as well as a dedicated French-language stream.

Gemini Award-winning CBC journalist Mark Kelley will provide the opening keynote address at the conference. Mark has received accolades across Canada for his recent documentary series #bullyProof, a powerful probe of high school bullying issues affecting our youth.

Registration information will be released in the coming weeks.

Brian Burke, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Join Brian Burke at the Canadian Safe School Network’s 16th annual Unforgettable Dinner and Silent Auction! Hosted by the Fairmont Royal York, the Unforgettable Dinner has become a tradition of the Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) in their work toward eliminating bullying and violence in Canadian classrooms and communities. The CSSN is a charitable organization with a mandate to reduce youth violence and make our schools and communities safer.

Executive Chef Collin Thornton

Each year, The Unforgettable Dinner is a truly unique experience!

The menu for the dinner is specially created by the Fairmont Royal York for guests of The Canadian Safe School Network.

This year, Executive Chef Collin Thornton will design and develop a five-course menu that will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

read entire article…

SNAP® for Schools

SNAP for Schools is a whole-school approach aimed at decreasing aggressive, anti-social, and bullying behaviour and increasing prosocial behaviour in students.

SNAP for Schools aims to help children with disruptive behaviour problems who are most likely to get in trouble because of their difficulty with self-control. These children might not have learned how to deal effectively with their anger and they have inadequate impulse control and problem solving skills. read entire article…

Bullying Research

As one example, Bullying is a serious issue that touches all schools and communities across Canada. In 2001, the Canadian Safe School Network surveyed 36,799 elementary school students and 73,650 secondary school students on school climate. The results indicated that:

  • In elementary schools, 23% of students were afraid someone was going to hurt or bother them at school while 41% agreed there was frequent bullying taking place. 13% to 18% had been threatened or physically harmed. 74% agreed that verbal abuse took place regularly at school.
  • In secondary schools, 19% of students were afraid someone was going to hurt or bother them at school while 44% agreed there was frequent bullying taking place. 10% to 15% had been threatened or physically harmed. 81% agreed that verbal abuse took place regularly at school.

What is SNAP®?

SNAP stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. It is an award-winning, evidence-based cognitive behavioural strategy developed at the Child Development Institute more than 30 years ago. SNAP helps children, parents, and other adults deal effectively with anger by teaching them to stop and think before they act – responding in a way that makes their problems smaller, not bigger. Children are able to stop, calm down and generate positive solutions at the “snap of their fingers”, through practice and help from teachers and parents. It has helped children to avoid fighting, handle peer pressure, and play fairly. It has also helped parents to handle situations calmly and not to discipline when they are angry. SNAP works because it is easy to learn and it focuses on teaching children how to improve their self-control through modeling and role-plays. read entire article…