Event News

SHE Leadership (Support Her Efforts)

On November 30th, Canadian Safe Schools conducted its very first SHE (support her efforts) Leadership event. What is the event all about? Well, when we were first planning SHE, we envisioned an event where SHEs could get inspired in order to focus on their inner attributes and validations above outer expectations and demands. However, by the end of the event we realized it was something bigger than that; SHE became a platform where youth were able to feel connected to one another, inspired, and motivated. SHE had become a nexus where all the girls, speakers, and teachers were able to celebrate their SHE hood. It was beautiful to see girls of all ages, backgrounds, and dispositions come together to find common experiences, and through that related to each other. We realized that by providing these girls a non-judgmental, trusting, and supporting space, they were able to unfold their hopes, experiences, believes, attitudes, goals, and beauties in front of everyone. Also, by doing so, they were able to feel more confident, inspired, and connected.final-poster-01

There are many contributing elements that made SHE what it was: our sponsors, TD, our supporters, M.A.C cosmetics and Panago Pizza, our wonderful speakers, and SHE Shares.

Our speakers were absolutely inspiring, raw, and, altogether, so phenomenal. They were successful women from diverse backgrounds and careers. Their broad diversity allowed every SHE to resonate with at least one speaker, if not all! Moreover, all the speakers gave a unique insight to SHE-hood by sharing their authentic experiences with the world. They touched topics related to confidence, love, goals, beauty, authenticity, patience, hard work, and believing in yourself. They were supportive role models and, all together, great human beings. If you wish to know more about our speakers please  click here

Lastly, according to the students, “SHE Shares” was the biggest hit of the day. SHE Shares was the part of the event where the kids could go up on stage and share an accomplishment. Something they overcame because they decided to be authentically themselves and believe in their own potential and self-worth. It resulted in tears, laughter, strength, connection, support, and encouragement. We saw a sort of resilience that we didn’t expect, we saw their strength, heard their stories, and got inspired. They showed how brave they were; they showed us the beauty of vulnerability, and most of all they showed us that they just need a space to express themselves, and once they have that, they will shine.

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On the 6th of October, Business owners, School Administrators, Policy Advisers, Lawyers, Deputy Chief, OACP youth committee and Educators, came together to discuss the different perspectives on the legalization of Marijuana. In a short time, big chances are coming to Canada! We realized that the mainstream dialogue on legalization somehow has not deeply discussed how this step m
ay affect youth safety and progress. Therefore, Canadian Safe Schools Network dedicated a whole day investigating how these changes may affect educators, students, and safe schools. In addition, we also discussed what steps law makers and educators have to take in order to successfully and safely conduct this major change-

We would like to thank all our speakers and delegates for coming together!
In order to fully understand an issue, one has to look it from all sides in all perspectives. So, thanks to our diverse and well informed speakers, we were able to exchange knowledge and insight from all sides!
If you did not attend our conference, do not worry, you have not missed out!! Our speakers were kind enough to post their presentations and thoughts

 

The M-Word conference description

Cannimed- Brent-Zettl

Nazlee Maghsoudi

Stephanie Young

Rebecca Jesseman

Judith Renaud Speech

 

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This August Mike Wilson of The Ultimate Leafs Fan  hosted the 3rd annual Night For Change. The annual event raises funds and awareness for the work we do with youth in and around bullying, and LQBTQ youth. We were so honoured to have in attendance Bobby Orr #4, Derek Sanderson, Rick Vaive,Phil Esposito and Flames’ captain Mark Giordano…. and of course the one and only Brian Burke. The event this year was a two parter with an intimate lunch with Mr. Orr and then our regular Night for Change event. We raised much needed funds to help launch 4 new programs in 2016/2017.

Not to be outdone this year Mike also surprised us with Tim Hicks a true Canadian country star!

Stay tuned for more exciting news and be sure to join us at our next event!

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Last Thursday, June 2, CSSN visited Mountain View Academy in Calgary Alberta to ask their grade 10 and 11 students for some help.

The Safe Schools Hackathon program uses a ground up approach to learn about social media and cyberbullying directly from those who know it best; students. The Hackathon program engages students in a discussion about cyberbullying, encouraging them to share their own insights based on what they’ve witnessed or experienced online.

We then invited students to pull out their phones. Although Mountain View Academy has a ‘no phones in class’ rule, we got an exemption for this unique learning opportunity. Students took a different look at the apps they used most, noticing commonly used features such as menus, buttons and icons. The program outlined the initial stages of app design and taught students how to develop wireframes and storyboards.  Teams of students were then given time to conceptualize their own apps that could help put an end to cyberbullying. At the end of the session 4 clever concepts were presented.

Each idea suggested offered educational tools and ways of coping with online bullying. A vote was had to determine the winning team, and we are proud to congratulate Emily, Taylor and Suweyda on their winning concept!

The curriculum for the Hackathon program was put together by safe school experts at CSSN and the team at Lighthouse Labs who provided valuable input on app design.

Over the summer CSSN will continue to develop the Safe Schools Hackathon program with the goal of visiting more cities across Canada next fall!

For more information on cyberbullying check out our resource:

https://canadiansafeschools.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Cyberbullying-resource-for-print.pdf

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With the legalization of marijuana officially on the table, questions about what that means for the nation are cropping up quicker than dispensaries across Toronto.  As politicians debate the issues, we’re left to ponder what’s to come…how and where will marijuana be sold? At what age can you purchase marijuana?  And perhaps the most pressing and controversial question of all: how will this impact the nation’s youth?

When it comes to the rights and best interest of youth, there’s quite a bit of contention among the experts.  While some emphasize the harms of use on cognitive development and mental health, others advocate for the reform of laws, arguing that the impact of criminalization on youth trajectories can be far worse than the impact of use itself.  Perhaps the greatest stakeholder of all in this discussion is schools.  Schools, whose main responsibility it is to protect and educate youth, will soon face increasing pressure to respond to new laws about marijuana use, policies, and education in schools.  But what will legalization mean for students, teachers, and the school community? Educators are left with a slew of questions such as:

  • What policies should schools have in place regarding use?
  • How should marijuana be discussed and taught in classrooms?
  • How far from school grounds will dispensaries be allowed to stand?
  • What are youth’s legal rights surrounding marijuana use?
  • What are the legal ramifications of illegal use or distribution?
  • What might the potential benefits of legalization be for schools?

Soon there will be inevitable changes to the national landscape, and schools will be expected to adapt.  They’ll need the knowledge and tools to respond to issues of illegal distribution, medicinal use, illegal use, and more. They’ll need to evaluate current policies and practices and make the adjustments they deem fit. They’ll need to reconsider the way they educate youth about the topic, while evaluating their capacity to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students.

We here at the Canadian Safe School Network realize how important it is to be prepared, and that’s why CSSN will be hosting, “The M Word: Exploring Perspectives on the Legalization of Marijuana and Safe Schools” in both Vancouver on October 5th and Toronto on October 6th.  Join us as experts from across sectors, including government, law enforcement, education, the cannabis industry and mental health, offer their perspectives on the impending legalization of marijuana and how it will affect students, educators, and safe school communities at large.  We’ll provide insights, answer questions, and promote discussion so that educators may feel better prepared for what’s to come.

To learn more about the Toronto conference or to register click here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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On Friday, February 26th, educators and professionals in the field of education gathered in Toronto for a full day, interactive conference on Safe Schools. The Canadian Safe School Network is extremely proud to have hosted the 19th Annual Safe Schools Conference: A Focus on Student Wellness. We would like to thank all of those who made the event possible including our planning committee, volunteers, speakers, and of course the delegates who joined us. It is clear from the widespread participation in the event that educators across Ontario are committed to enhancing the safety and wellbeing of their schools and communities.

We were truly fortunate to have had Bill Byrd, Safe Schools Administrator for the Toronto District School Board offer inspiring remarks about wellness and introduce our keynote, Angela Gauthier, Director of Education for the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Ms. Gauthier presented an in-depth review of the TCDSB’s commitment to student wellbeing and achievement as supported by the comprehensive Mental Health Strategy. The importance of community building and positive school climate were highlighted as being essential to the health and success of students, and Ms. Gauthier urged a “call to action” in which educators must work to promote the mental health and wellness of all students.

In the student stream, Jason Colero of the Toronto Argonauts’ Huddle UP program kicked off the day by sharing his personal story and discussing the potential effects that bullying can have on mental health. Students reflected on their own stories and were left with the important message that you can turn your experiences into a positive no matter what they are.

As the day progressed, our delegates attended a variety of workshops that emphasized the importance of mental health and wellness. Some of the topics that were addressed included: LGBTQ and transgender support, peace education, digital citizenship, student engagement and student allies, diversity and inclusion and the revised health and physical education curriculum. Others focused on resilience and self-regulation, alternative and human rights programming, teen sexual assault, restorative practices, body-based bullying, effective teambuilding and much more. In the student stream, workshops focused on inclusive schools, community activism, movement, and leadership skills.

Prior to our second plenary session, the Canadian Safe School Network/TD Award for Excellence Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying was presented to South Huron High School’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance. The school received the award for demonstrating excellence in the development, creation or promotion of an in-school initiative to counter LGBTQ bullying. Conference delegates cheered to honor the group’s fine and significant accomplishment.

Our second keynote address was given by Dr. Garfield Gini-Newman, national senior consultant with The Critical Thinking Consortium and associate professor at OISE, University of Toronto. In his captivating presentation on critical thinking and safe schools, Dr. Gini-Newman explained the 5 key principals that underpin a “thinking classroom” and explored the central role that creating a community of thinkers plays in implementing those principals. Delegates reflected on their own practices and were asked to critically consider strategies to help create a safe and caring school environment.

In the student stream, the day ended with a reflective workshop presented by Dianne Banasco of the TCDSB in which students engaged in mindfulness practices. We are extremely impressed by the level of enthusiasm and commitment to wellness that students brought to the event.

We are very pleased to have had such an excellent group of presenters, keynote speakers, and exhibitors. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

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On Monday, February 8th, educators and professionals in the field of education braved the snow and gathered in Winnipeg for a full day, interactive conference on Safe Schools. The Canadian Safe School Network is extremely proud to have hosted The Manitoba Safe Schools Conference: Diversity, Respect and Inclusion. We would like to thank all of those who made the event possible including our planning committee, volunteers, speakers, and of course the delegates who joined us. Such widespread participation reflects Manitoba’s commitment to creating the best, most diverse possible learning communities for our students.

We were truly honoured to have had Hon. James Allum, Minister of Education and Advanced Learning offer inspiring opening remarks. Following the remarks, our keynote speaker, Dr. Jerome Cranston, Executive Director of Student Academic Success and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at University of Manitoba, took the podium and delivered a captivating address on what it means to create and nurture schools that place children’s rights at the centre.

As the day progressed, our delegates attended a variety of workshops all of which focused on recognizing diversity in all its forms and nurturing respect and inclusion of every student. Some of the topics that were addressed included: enhancing learning outcomes for vulnerable student populations, adopting an inclusive and diverse-normative lens, and advocating for non-discriminative human rights. Other workshops included discussions surrounding system-wide approaches to newcomer integration, equitable settlement and community development, and relationship building/character development to ensure safe, healthful schools.

Our second keynote address was given by Scott Heggart, who offered a touching personal account of his journey coming to terms with his sexuality and the impacts that educators had on him. Scott’s insight into the ways we can create a truly inclusive and accepting climate in our classrooms surely resonated with the crowd.

Finally, our student panelists from Maples Collegiate and the Pembina Trails Schools Division impressed us all with their commitments to social justice, community engagement, and global citizenship. Maples Collegiate voices the importance of implementing Aboriginal Student Leadership (ASL), while Pembina Trails described the tremendous impact of The Rights of the Child Project. The discussion was not just informative, but truly inspiring.

We are very pleased to have had such an excellent group of presenters, keynote speakers, and exhibitors. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=805058

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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!

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A special musical performance by Michael Hansan

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CSSN President, Stu Auty, presenting the opening remarks

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

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Nick Kypreos and Brian Burke

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Nick Kypreos and Brian Burke

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

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

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President Stu Auty with Nick Kypreos and Briane Burke

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

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

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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!

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Paint the Car Double Blue sign outside of the stadium!

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The painting station all up and ready to go!

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Front view of the autographed Hamilton Tiger-Cats car.

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Side view of the autographed Hamilton Tiger-Cats car.

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Argos fans with Jason The Mascot!

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The Argos Cheer team getting in on the fun!

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Football themed activities outside of the stadium!

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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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