September 2015

On Monday September 28th, the Canadian Safe School Network held its third annual Safe Schools Hockey Pool, hosted by Brian Burke with MC Nick Kypreos. We were happy to have special guests James and April Reimer join us for the evening as well!

We kicked off the evening by a special musical performance by Michael Hanson – the founder, drummer, songwriter and one of the 2 pivotal original members of the Capitol EMI Records band GLASS TIGER from 1985 to 1990. With 5 Juno Awards and a Grammy Nomination, he is considered to be among the elite as a music-hook writer/producer

Over 10 teams came together to take part in a prestigious competition of hockey wit and strategy to choose the ultimate NHL fantasy team. It was an evening full of laughter, entertainment, and delicious food. We saw some good picks and some questionable ones (which Brian Burke was not afraid to call out!) and we can’t wait to see how it all turns out. The fantasy season begins with the regular 2015/2016 NHL season, 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 safer schools where all children can feel comfortable and secure in their learning environments.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor Scotiabank, and to our supporting sponsors TD and Sportsnet. We also wanted to extend a big thank you to Jack Astor’s and their incredible staff. See you all next year!


A special musical performance by Michael Hansan


CSSN President, Stu Auty, presenting the opening remarks


The one and only Brian Burke, with his trademark tie-over-shoulder outfit


Nick Kypreos and Brian Burke


Nick Kypreos and Brian Burke


April Reimer, CSSN President Stu Auty, and Toronto Maple Leaf goalie James Reimer


One of the Scotiabank teams – thanks again for your support!


President Stu Auty with Nick Kypreos and Briane Burke


Jack Astor’s generously donating $1,000 to CSSN. Thank you!


Nick Kypreos with the winners of one of our live auction items – two tickets to a Habs vs. Leafs game. Congrats!


Nick Kypreos and Brian Burke with the CSSN team

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On Friday September 11, the Toronto Argonauts and the Huddle Up Program held a fun fundraiser for the Canadian Safe School Network. Loyal Argos fans and CSSN supporters were able to make donations to paint an autographed-covered Hamilton Tiger-Cats car the Argos double blue colours. Despite the grey skies and light rain showers, over 50 people participated, ranging from young children to adults. The Argos cheerleaders also made a special appearance and helped paint the car as well.

After the two-hour event, we are happy to announce that we raised $342! We wanted to take this opportunity to thank our supporters. We hope you had fun getting messy while helping CSSN – we appreciate your contributions!


Paint the Car Double Blue sign outside of the stadium!


The painting station all up and ready to go!


Front view of the autographed Hamilton Tiger-Cats car.


Side view of the autographed Hamilton Tiger-Cats car.


Argos fans with Jason The Mascot!


The Argos Cheer team getting in on the fun!


Football themed activities outside of the stadium!


The finished product. Looks great – Go Argos!

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This past Tuesday, September 8th, 2015, The Canadian Safe School Network’s founder and president, Stu Auty, was interviewed by Stephen LeDrew on CP24. 

Stu outlined a variety of ways that CSSN helps in preventing school violence as well as raising awareness about anti-bullying such as our many educational conferences, direct help supported by TD Bank, and our website that has a variety of resources.

September 8th was also Back to School day which can be an exciting day for many kids but it can also be a day that kids dread if they have been bullied in the past. This is why it is important to raise awareness about cyber bullying as this is a huge issue in this technological day and age where what gets posted online is permanent.

Stu’s advice on cyber bullying was as follows:

  • Adults should take some time to learn about the internet and how it works since it is a technology that is changing rapidly.
  • Parents should look into who their kids are spending time with.
  • Kids who are being cyber bullied should try not to react directly to what is posted online, but rather tell someone in their life like their teacher or an adult they trust.

Check out the full interview here and if you need help with cyber-bullying, you can find resources here.

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On Wednesday September 2, 2015, the Canadian Safe School Network held their first ever Twitter chat, which was part of our social media campaign #TeachTheTeacher. To reach out to parents, educators and other school community members, we facilitated a Twitter chat about how we, as adults, can help LGBTQ youth feel safer as back to school approaches.

We asked four questions:

1. How do teachers integrate LGBTQ topics into their lessons? 

2. How do/can schools create a safer/inclusive/accepting space for LGBTQ students and staff? 

3. What are issues teachers have witnessed and/or students have shared about identifying as #LGBTQ at school and how did teachers respond? 

4. How do teachers personally create a safer, inclusive and/or accepting space for LGBTQ students and staff? 

We had many insightful contributions to our discussion; interesting perspectives were shared and amazing resources were recommended. To see the full chat, check out our Storify on the LGBTQ #TeachTheTeacher Twitter chat below!

Given the success of this chat, we have decided to host another Twitter chat! On Wednesday September 16th from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ETD, we will be discussing the new Ontario Sexual Health Education curricula. We hope you can join us!

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Pursuit OCR, Canada’s first fully indoor obstacle course training and movement centre, is opening soon in Toronto! Pursuit OCR is a fitness-based playground that combines education, recreation, and recovery therapy for people of all fitness levels! It offers more than nineteen obstacle courses as well as the first cryosauna in downtown Toronto!

Obstacle course races are hugely popular nowadays which can be seen in the popularity of Tough Mudder and Spartan Race, to name a few. Where do people go when the races are not happening? Pursuit OCR! Pursuit OCR is open year-round, rain or shine.

Pursuit OCR has launched an Indiegogo campaign to reach out to the community so that this facility can be amazing! The team’s goal is to raise $35,000 in 40 days. You can donate here:–2#/story

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SOAR (Students who are Optimistic, Aware, and Ready) is a Canadian documentary film and interactive in-theatre program that is the perfect opportunity for students moving onto high school. SOAR is brought to you by YLCC Media and is supported by us, the Canadian Safe School Network, as well as Cineplex Entertainment.

This film is ninety minutes long and allows students to realistically look at the challenges and opportunities they will encounter during their transition into high school. You can view the official film trailer here.

New high school students will participate in a three hour event that includes information on decision making as well as making the most of their time in high school. The film will be shown in two parts with activities and a discussion before, in the middle, and at the end of the film. Teachers who attend will receive a take-home program that can be used in the classroom as a follow-up to the film.

SOAR: The Documentary will air in select Cineplex theatres this fall, including the following in Ontario:

London — Wednesday, September 23

Milton — Thursday, September 24

Mississauga — Friday, September 25

Waterloo — Monday, September 28

Oakville — Tuesday, September 29

Guelph — Wednesday, September 30

Windsor — Thursday, October 1

Belleville — Friday, October 2

Ottawa — Thursday, October 22

Burlington — Friday, October 23

Barrie — Thursday, October 29

Brantford — Monday, November 2

Oshawa — Tuesday, November 3

Ajax — Wednesday, November 4

Peterborough — Friday, November 6

Please email if you would like to attend this event with a group of students or if you would like more information!

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Teachers have the unique luxury of having an additional New Year’s celebration – back to school. As the “New Year” approaches, it is a great time to reflect on some of the goals you would like to achieve for the year ahead. Maybe you want to try out a new teaching strategy, or better integrate technology into your lessons; the possibilities are endless!


One of the current main movements in Canadian education is the highlighted importance of inclusion and celebrating diversity in our classrooms. Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, and this beautiful reality is reflected in our classrooms and students. We are lucky to have students from many different countries, who practice different religions, speak various languages, engage in various cultural practices, and more. However, trying to create a classroom (and school) environment that is a safer space for representation and celebration of diversity can be challenging and overwhelming. We challenge you, as one of your New Year’s Resolutions for the 2015-2016 year, to be more aware of how you promote diversity and inclusivity in your classrooms. Here are some strategies to go about promoting diversity and creating a safer space in your classrooms:

  1. Classroom Rules. Within the first couple of days of school, it is essential to have a conversation with your students about classroom rules. Prompt students to share “rules” on diversity, inclusion and acceptance (for example: “How can we ensure that all students feel safe and welcomed in our classroom?” “How do we demonstrate respect for one another?”) Write down the classroom rules on chart paper and hang them up on the wall. As an art project, students can create images to accompany each rule, which can turn into a classroom picture book!
  2. Think big! Inclusion and diversity do not have to stay within the walls of a single classroom. Brainstorm with your class ways to get the word out across the school, such as a poster campaign, an assembly to highlight different kinds of diversity (e.g. Rainbow Week), or ask students to write brief descriptions about different holidays and share the information during morning announcements.
  3. Integration with curriculum. There is room to be creative when implementing curricula. There are many ways to teach and talk about diversity in different subject areas. For example:
  • Music: begin each lesson by playing a song from a different country
  • History: plan a unit on important historical figures who identified as LGBTQ
  • Social Studies: organize a project where students bring in a dish that is native to their families’/ancestors’ homeland and explain the origin of the dish (depending on food allergies.)


If you would like to engage in professional development on diversity and inclusion, stay tuned for more information about our Manitoba conference on Monday February 8th, 2016 at the Victoria Inn Winnipeg; this year’s theme is Diversity, Respect and Inclusion.

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