The controversy over school safety logos and schools chief Sherri Ybarra’s website has been put to bed, Rep. Wendy Horman said Friday afternoon.
Horman said she appreciates Ybarra’s efforts to clarify that she was using the Office of School Safety and Security’s logo only as one of several “featured resources” available in Idaho.
Horman said she spoke with Ybarra twice this week.
“I agree this issue of the logo has been put to rest, and we look forward to both offices working together for student safety moving forward,” Horman told Idaho Education News.
In a written statement issued late Friday afternoon, Ybarra also said the issue is over.
“I look forward to working with Rep. Horman as we move forward on the safety initiative, and I truly appreciate her reaching out about this,” Ybarra said. “Although some coverage has cast this as conflict and controversy, the issue with the logo was a simple misunderstanding and has since been addressed. We have much more important points to discuss as we move forward in our shared goal of keeping Idaho students safe.”
The issue came to light last week after Horman asked one of Ybarra’s staffer to remove the Office of School Safety and Security logo from Ybarra’s Keep Idaho Students Safe website. Horman said she had received questions about whether the Office of School Safety and Security is endorsing Ybarra’s plan, and did not want the logo’s presence to imply an official endorsement.
Ybarra didn’t remove the logo, but added other logos and increased the size of the headline indicating the Office of School Safety and Security is simply a “featured resource” of the state.
“As Chair of the Idaho Office of School Safety Advisory Board, I’m grateful to Superintendent Ybarra for clarifying our role in her school safety plan,” Horman said. “The office’s logo has been adjusted to reflect us as a featured resource on school safety and additional school safety partners have been added.”
Signs of a potential truce began emerging during a State Department of Education school safety web presentation Thursday night. At that time, a Ybarra staffer unveiled several tweaks to her KISS plan that were based on recent feedback. One of the more notable tweaks was agreeing to use the Office of School Safety and Security’s safety assessments as the basis for Ybarra’s proposed $18.5 million school safety grant program.
Gov. Butch Otter and the Legislature created the Office of School Safety and Security in 2016, and Ybarra unveiled her KISS plan this spring, during the closing weeks of the 2018 legislative session.
Ybarra is gearing up to ask the Legislature for more than $19 million in supplemental funding to launch her KISS plan, and Horman is an influential lawmaker serving on the joint budget committee.