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By Karim Mirshahi
Nine years ago, Stuart Auty, a school vice-principal, confronted violence in our schools. He took a leave of absence from his duties and formed an organization to address the scourge of youth violence. This work allows for improved networking between offices of the Attorney Generals, police departments, and educators. The Canadian Safe School Network, headed by Stuart Auty, has evolved from a small group of founding directors into a national, well-ordered, efficient vehicle to serve the public.
The “network” produces guidance and educational materials on school violence, organizes conferences and seminars to assist police and educators in dealing with this tragedy and publicizes the deep extent of the problem, so that decision makers cannot ignore it.
I was honoured to be present at the Canadian Safe School Network annual fund-raising dinner at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Nov 2, 2004. As a citizen I was reassured to see a well-organized event with sincere, diligent participants such as Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant, Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino, Toronto Argonauts Coach Michael “Pinball” Clemons and other speakers who addressed a full house in the Canadian Room. The speakers dealt with the issues that I believe are important to provide our children with the safe educational environments they deserve.
I could sense the quiet enthusiasm surging through the concerned, proficient participants involved. It was refreshing to see good people energetically performing difficult work and receiving outstanding community support.
Toronto Waterfront Magazine is proud to support the Canadian Safe School Network in its important efforts.