Rep. Wendy Horman was elected chairwoman of the new Office of School Safety and Security’s Advisory Board during the panel’s inaugural meeting Wednesday.
Horman was the unanimous choice of the 13-person board, which includes law enforcement officials, a teacher, a school administrator and parents.
During the 2016 legislative session, Horman sponsored the bill creating the Office of School Safety and Security.
“At end of the day, this is about keeping Idahoans safe in our schools — our students, our teachers, our parents and anybody who happens to be there,” Horman said.
Over the next three years, school security consultants will perform risk and threat assessments at all Idaho public schools.
The consultants will review a long list of items — from whether a school has a safety committee in place to whether doors are improperly propped open when students are on campus to whether adults check in before entering the building.
An assessment at a large high school typically takes two people about three-fourths of a day to complete, security consultant Guy Bliesner said.
Analysts will also provide follow-up training, and work to enhance communication between school officials, law enforcement and the community.
“There will be a progression in this work, because as threats evolve we need to evolve,” Horman said.
The school security office, part of the Division of Building Safety, was launched when the security law went into effect. It will report annual findings to the Legislature and governor.
Last week, First Lady Lori Otter held a press conference to kick off the new school safety initiative. She also unveiled the “See Tell Now!” public service campaign, which encourages students to become more aware of their surroundings and report anything suspicious to an adult.
The board is expected to meet next in January.
Board members include:
- Jeri Henley, parent, Twin Falls.
- Logan Easley, teacher, West Ada School District.
- Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Boise.
- James Dale Fry, Jr., school board member, Troy.
- Matthew Handelman, superintendent, Coeur d’Alene.
- Matt Freeman, executive director, Idaho State Board of Education.
- Chief Jeff Gunter, Hailey Police Department.
- Sheriff Charles “Chad” A. Huff, Payette County Sheriff’s Office.
- Capt. John Ganske, Idaho State Police.
- William “Brad” Richy, Idaho Department of Emergency Management.
- Fire Chief David Gates, Pocatello Fire Department.
- Matt McCarter, State Department of Education.