INTERVIEW: Idaho Office of School Safety and Security official discusses protecting Idaho schools

Photo Courtesy: Idaho Office of School Saftey and Security

Guy Bliesner serves as one of the founding members and a school security analyst of the Idaho Office of School Safety and Security. Before joining the state office, Bliesner operated his own school saftey consulting company. He talked to Neal Larson and Julie Mason in the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Florida on Wednesday, February 14.

You can listen to the full interview below.



IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — After a school shooter killed 17 students in Florida on Wednesday, February 14, officials with the Idaho Office of School Saftey and Security are discussing what Idaho is doing to combat a similar situation in a Gem state school.

“Generally, Idaho is doing much better,” Guy Bliesner, school security analyst at the Idaho Office of School Safety and Security, told KID Newsradio. “Sandy Hook was a wake-up call. Things have changed. You’ll notice the perimeters of schools are tighter. You have to generally check-in through an office, they’re controlling who’s on their campus better,  they’re doing both left of bang and right of bang preparations, they’re as a whole doing much better than we were doing three years ago.”

Guy Bliesner, school security analyst at the Idaho Office of School Safety and Security, says in the aftermath of school shootings, it’s easy to lose sight of teaching preventative measures in a rush to focus on teaching responsive measures in the event of school shooting.

“One of the things that we get lost in the shuffle here is the issues that happen on the left side of the bang,” Bliesner said. “We’re all about right side, how will we respond, where will we run, where do we hide, what do we do? We forget all of the left side stuff that interdict, pick it up, stop it before it happens and, you know, not that it’s going to end all of them and if a bad man shows up in a school with ill intent, bad things will happen. But, we can do much more than we currently do to pick these things up.”

But, Bliesner says the debate of, “give everyone a gun or take everyone’s gun away,” is too short sighted of an approach. Instead, he says, each location, each region, each school, should determine what’s best for them. Currently, Idaho law only permits a teacher or an administrator to carry a concealed weapon only if they’ve been authorized by the local school board.

Regardless of what each school decides, Bliesner says it’s crucial in this time of sorrow and reflection in Flordia, to “take a deep breath…and have a thoughtful conversation on this.”

“One school shooting is one too many,” Bliesner said. “But, either side saying, you know, ‘Add a lot more guns to it…or take the guns away from everybody,” is not where we’re going to make headway on this problem.”