The Canadian Safe School Network family has grown!
We are thrilled to announce that our SNAP For Schools Program Manager, Katie McCabe, gave birth to her first child on Mother’s Day!
Isla made her debut last Sunday to help make her mom’s first Mother’s Day a truly memorable one.
All of us at CSSN wish Katie and her husband, Phil, the best as they embark on this new adventure as a family!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-961-8800, ext. 608 (toll-free in Ontario at 1-888-534-2222, ext. 608).
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!
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
• 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.
All completed applications must be received no later than April 19th, 2013.
The complete application package (download below) can be mailed to:
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:
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.
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:
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!
“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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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/
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.
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!
Michael Redhead Champagne
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a web link to participate.
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!
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!
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.
“What if the bully never stops? He just gets more people helping him. From 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- sexual assault
- legal issues
- school climate
- 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:
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.
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!
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!
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
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
**Media Enquiries: 416.977.1050**
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!
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.
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!
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 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!
“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:
Hopefully one of those helps. If anyone else has had a similar problem and can offer some advise, please add a comment below.
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…
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.
Thank you to all of our supporters!
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 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.
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.
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.
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…
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:
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…