Friends of CSSN

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

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:

IMG_7673 IMG_7674 IMG_7675

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INBETWEEN Magazine helps parents navigate the often tumultuous teen and young adult years. Most recently they’ve published a detailed piece about the on-going issue of bullying and cybebullying, titled ” High School Horror.”

“Some teens cannot find solace away from bullying. It follows them everywhere from the halls of high school to their online activity at home. Here’s how you can step in and keep your child safe,” the article began.

While writting this piece INBETWEEN spoke with CSSN president Stu Auty for information about the causes and effects of bullying and cyberbullying.

Take a look at their full article here:



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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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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“Children must feel safe in order to be freed up to learn. ” – Mary Gordon, Founder of Roots of Empathy.

This year we are pleased to welcome Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy as our Keynote speaker at the 18th Annual Safe Schools Conference coming up February 24th.

Roots of Empathy is a charitable organization that originated in Toronto in 1996. There mission: to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. They believe by focusing on empathy, creating respectful relationships, we are able to reduce levels of bullying and aggression in children. 

There is no doubt that a safe and caring classroom will benefit learning. This practice extends across all areas of safe school issues, whether it be mental health, LGBTQ, special education, or any other area. Creating environments that are inclusive, and based on positive relationship practices will benefit all. The key to Roots of Empathy’s philosophy is to engage all students. We cannot label and target the “troubled” child or the “bully”. Instead, it is teaching all students how to act with empathy that will build a positive culture all around.

As Mary Gordon states in her presentation description, many children cannot find unconditional comfort and support at home. This is when school becomes a safe-haven, and teachers play an even more influential role. To help students overcome any of the challenges they may be facing in their crucial developmental years we must foster empathy and positive relationships.

We are excited to have Mary Gordon join us in Toronto on the 24th. Click here to read her full presentation description.

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

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

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

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

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

and much more!

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

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