November 2014

On Monday, CSSN and our partners at Alberta Safe & Caring hosted the The Alberta Safe & Caring Schools Forum: Policy to Practice – Creating Safe Spaces. We’re happy to say it was a great event! Delegates from across the province of Alberta, (and even some from Northwest Territories) joined us at the Barnett house in Edmonton for a full day of interactive discussion on safe school issues. One of the highlights of the day was none other than our keynote speaker Dr. Stuart Shanker, who offered insight on the relationship between neuroscience and the emotional well-being of children. Dr. Shanker gave a keynote presentation, hosted a workshop, and met with a number of media outlets throughout the day.

The learning was interactive and online, as delegates were encouraged to use social media throughout the day by our youth keynote speaker Dada Mwemera. (Check out #CSSNAlberta for a look into the conference). Workshops addressed new Alberta education policy, youth engagement, mentoring, cyber-bullying, student well-being and much more!

We want to thank all the delegates for joining us to discuss what we feel are truly valuable safe schools issues in the province of Alberta! We hope you found the day rewarding. We would love to hear your feedback on the conference. If you were in attendance, please complete our feedback survey HERE.

We also want to thank our partners The Society for Safe & Caring Schools and Communities for working with us to put on such a fantastic event. If you missed us in Alberta, not to worry! Our Canadian conferences continue with the Manitoba Safe & Caring Conference on February 9th, The 18th Annual Toronto Safe Schools Conference on February 24th, and the Saskatchewan Safe and Caring Schools Conference on March 23rd.

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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

 

 

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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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