SHELLEY, Idaho — Idaho first lady Lori Otter has launched a new program to promote school safety across the state.

Otter appeared Thursday at Shelley High School to announce the Idaho Office of School Safety and Security, which is tasked with fostering better school safety in light of recent school shootings, the Post Register reported (http://bit.ly/2ceXiFP).

The initiative was launched July 1 under the Division of Building Safety and calls for security checks at all Idaho schools every three years.

“There’s not one school in our state that’s the same; it’s both a blessing and a curse,” Otter said. “It allows us to retain our identities and communities, but it also creates a system where every school has its own pocket of blind spots. It’s hard to monitor and it’s hard to keep track of safety.”

Otter is currently touring the state to raise awareness for the new office. On Thursday, she read a proclamation from Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter declaring September “School Safety and Security Month.”

The initiative will also urge children to be aware of their surroundings through public service announcements featuring a llama mascot.

“If you see an Otter in your hallway it’s usually OK, but if you see a llama something’s probably wrong,” Otter joked. “The message is represented in a way to raise awareness without frightening anyone.”

Shelley School District Superintendent Bryan Jolley said students play an important role in school safety.

“You can lock every door on a building and put cameras everywhere, but unless you’re addressing the kids within the building you’re missing the whole point,” he said.


Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com