Safe & Secure Schools

Idaho Lives Project

PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS refers to the ability of Public Health Agencies, healthcare systems, communities, and individuals to PREPARE for, RESPOND to, and RECOVER from public health emergencies like natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, acts of bioterrorism, or any other event that affects the lives of every Idahoan.

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Assessment Tool Introduction

Idaho Assessment Master

FY 16 Substance Abuse Prevention/School Safety Funding Application

During the 2015 legislative session, funding was allocated through Senate Bill 1186 for districts to implement substance abuse prevention measures and school safety improvements. The funding formula calls for a base amount of $2,000 for every district and public charter school plus a prorated amount for FY15 Average Daily Attendance (approximately $13.00 per student). To receive funding, districts and charters must provide a brief summary of outcomes related to previous Safe & Drug Free expenditures and a plan to train school staff in bullying prevention, as required by House Bill 246.

Funding availability is dependent upon tobacco and lottery tax revenue.


Apply Here - FY16 SDFS Funding Application »


PDF Icon Senate Bill 1186 full text

Questions regarding this funding opportunity should be directed to Matt McCarter at, or 208-332-6961.

Annual Bullying Incident Reporting by District

In alignment with HB 246 from the 2015 Legislative Session, annual reporting will now occur at the end of the school year through an aggregate report asking for total number of bullying incidents by school, grade level and repeat offenders. The reporting mechanism will be housed external to ISEE and collected by the SDE. The report should contain any incident that prompts a formal consequence (meeting with counselor, parental notification, detention, etc.). A tracking form has been provided below by the SDE to support this requirement.

PDF Icon HB 246 Full Text
Word Icon HB 246 Points of Clarification
Word Icon Bullying Tracking Form

Model Bullying/Harassment Policies:


One goal of the Idaho State Department of Education is to increase district and school capacity to establish and maintain a positive education climate, with emphasis on a safe learning environment and the intellectual, physical, social and psychological well-being of every child.

Stakeholder Group Guiding Statements:

The Idaho School Safety and Security Stakeholder Group has identified the following statements to guide its work.

  • To identify the critical infrastructure, resources and action steps (statewide plan) to create a culture of readiness to prevent and respond to crises in every school community in Idaho.
  • To build capacity for local jurisdictions to effectively prevent and respond to their unique crises situations.
  • To assure every student, parent and staff member feels safe in Idaho schools.

button Stakeholder Group Determination Statements:

The Idaho School Safety and Security Stakeholder Group has identified the following determination statements regarding concerns it is working to address.

  • There is a wide variance in the level of attention and preparation for school safety and security issues in the school districts and charter schools across the state.
  • Valid and reliable information on the current status of school safety and security in schools across the state does not exist.
  • Ownership and responsibility for school safety and security at the state and local district level has been nebulous and not well defined.
  • The availability of Idaho specific school safety data, best practices information, training and assistance is limited.
  • The majority of districts in the state lack the resources (expertise, personnel and funding) to establish meaningful and sustainable school safety and security improvement.

The Idaho School Safety and Security Stakeholder Group has identified the following determination statements for strategies it will use to address concerns and develop recommendations.

  • School security is a subset of the much wider subject of school safety and requires a comprehensive approach.
  • School districts must work more closely with their first responder community in the planning process to maximize the effectiveness of any response.
  • Solutions must balance empowering local decision-making and establishing a baseline of statewide uniformity.
  • School safety includes violence prevention, school climate and drug and alcohol issues.
  • A common, valid and reliable threat assessment / school safety audit tool, with an accompanying rubric, is the starting place to address school safety and security statewide.
  • Local safety plans should be crafted based on the strengths / deficiencies of the threat assessment.
  • A state-level repository for best practices, research, technical assistance and training would address some of the greatest needs among districts.
  • A dedicated funding source for state and local activities must be established to sustain efforts and maintain attention on school safety & security.
  • Existing state-level activities and infrastructure must be leveraged to support school safety efforts (communications, building safety inspections, etc.).
  • Safety and security plans must be NIMS, ICS and THIRA compliant.
  • An awareness campaign to increase community involvement and buy-in must be part of the strategy.

button Critical Considerations Regarding Trustees Authorizing School Staff to Carry Weapons

The decision to authorize school staff to carry weapons on campus can have significant, unintended consequences and requires thorough discussion and preparation to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks. Idaho Safe and Secure Schools Task Force has identified the following actions and decision points to be addressed prior to authorization of weapon carrying among school staff:

  • Consultation with the district insurance carrier to determine applicable policy changes and associated costs.
  • Identification of the rules of engagement (for what purposes is it appropriate to brandish the weapon?).
  • Identification of enhanced training required of those authorized to carry weapons on campus (training should be ongoing, not a one-time event).
  • Consultation with local law enforcement to inform the decision to authorize school staff to carry weapons.
  • Consultation with parents to inform the decision to authorize school staff to carry weapons.
  • Clarifications of expectations (through policy) of the actions of authorized school staff when in contact with law enforcement personnel.
  • Identification of psychiatric screening measures to ensure the sound mental health of staff authorized to carry.
  • Determination of requirements to ensure weapon security and retention- security and retention measures prevent unauthorized access and use of the weapon.
  • District policy should specify which specific staff member(s) are authorized to carry weapons, and should identify the specific the weapon(s) to be carried. The amount, location and security of ammunition should also be addressed.

*The decision to authorize school staff to carry weapons on school campus in Idaho rests with locally elected school boards per section 18-3302D(4)(f), Idaho Code. Absent extenuating circumstances, the Idaho Safe and Secure Schools Task Force does not recommend the authorization of school staff to carry weapons on campus for school safety / security purposes.

Risks Benefits
  • Aftermath- potential lifelong trauma associated with the taking of life
  • Friendly fire- increased risk of injury / fatality due to multiple weapons in play during crisis situation
  • Burden of ongoing training to maintain proficiency with a weapon in a crisis situation
  • Parental Right to know which staff is carrying may be divisive
  • Parental / community concern regarding armed school staff
  • Lack of clarity regarding liability for personal injury and property damage resulting in firearm use among those authorized
  • Potential increase in school personnel seen as targets by perpetrators of school violence
  • Conflicts in loyalty may emerge regarding board expectations and personal conviction / administrator expectations
  • Increased ability to defend against a perpetrator until first responders arrive
  • Serves as a deterrent to potential perpetrators (if publicized)
  • May serve as a force multiplier for first responders

button History of Safe and Secure Schools in Idaho

In FY 2008, the public schools budget included $150,000 to fund the Safe Schools Study and a report to the Legislature. The Legislature has allocated $100,000 in the FY 2009 public schools budget for the Department to continue work on improving school security in Idaho. In 2007, the state published the results of the Statewide Safe and Secure Schools Assessment. As a result, the state took the following next steps:

  • Created an Idaho-specific Crisis Response Plan Guide and provide training to implement the guide statewide
  • Standardized statewide school security measures
  • Developed a statewide vendor identification system
  • Secured federal funding for security upgrades

2013 Annual Superintendents Meeting

The Idaho Emergency Operation Planning Guide For Safe and Secure Schools

Other Documents

PDF Icon Educators Guide to School Safety Equipment
PDF Icon School Safety Continuum Matrix
PDF Icon School District Standardization of CCTV
PDF Icon School Safety VulnerabilityAssessment Link
PDF Icon Establishing Standardized Lockdown Procedures

The U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) is pleased to announce the release of the "NIMS Implementation Activities for Schools and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)."

Word Icon Announcement of Guidance Final
Word Icon Checklist NIMS Implementation Activities Final
Word Icon Comprehensive Guidance_NIMS Activities Final
Word Icon FAQs Final
Word Icon Key Personnel and Training for Schools and HEIs 3 page Final