Almost half of Idaho public schools now using See Tell Now! safety tip line

By Zach Hagadone
Reader Staff

As schools around Idaho opened their doors to begin the 2023-’24 academic year in recent days, the Idaho State Board of Education announced Sept. 6 that more than 300 public and charter schools throughout the state are enrolled in the “See Tell Now!” school safety tip line — representing an increase of about 33% since the start of the 2022-’23 school year.

“This school year alone, we’ve signed up two new charter schools and 10 more traditional K-12 schools,” Program Coordinator Chris Thoms stated in a news release. “Schools are getting the word out about the See Tell Now! program and students are using it.”

With a total of 309 schools now participating, officials stated that the See Tell Now! program is being used by close to half of all public schools in Idaho — including the Lake Pend Oreille School District, which established a district-wide safety task force in the summer of 2022, including city and county law enforcement, school district leaders and parents, as well as referrals from board trustees.

All schools in LPOSD use See Tell Now!, which is highlighted among the district’s other school safety programs at

See Tell Now! functions as a confidential, anonymous reporting system staffed by technicians who take and review tips related to bullying, violence, drugs or any other potential threat of harm seen or heard at school. Tips are evaluated to ensure accuracy and, depending on the level of severity, reported to school officials or law enforcement.

The See Tell Now! App is available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play, and tips can be reported online at or by calling 1-888-593-2835. Parents and caregivers can also sign up for alerts and a newsletter at the website.

According to the State Board, the tip line received more than 460 tips last year. Of those calls, 27 came from students concerned about their own mental health or their friends’, and related to thoughts or plans for harming themselves or others.

“Students know what’s going on with other students, and being able to intercede and provide support early on in the process is really what we are trying to do,” stated Mike Munger, who manages the Board’s School Safety and Security program. 

“We don’t want to wait until it becomes so severe that the concern becomes an emergency,” he added.

The majority of the other calls to See Tell Now! in the past school year included reports of bullying and drugs at school.

The program defines its mission in three statements:

• See — “When you are in and around your school, simply be aware of your surroundings. You may notice something that doesn’t seem right, looks odd or is simply out of the ordinary”;

• Tell — “Tell someone at your school or call the police — but tell someone. We want to know what’s happening at your school, and your observations are important”; 

• Now — “Do it NOW. Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. If something looks out of place to you, it likely is. When it comes to the safety of our children, it’s always a better idea to be safe rather than sorry.”

The Idaho Legislature approved ongoing funding for the See Tell Now! program during the 2022 session, enabling schools to participate for free. The state provides outreach materials, which are displayed in high-traffic areas in the schools, as well as given to students and parents.

See Tell Now! is part of a national school safety network, though not intended to circumvent direct reporting of concerns to school administrations, which is what the Idaho State Board of Education prefers. 

However, Thoms stated, “it does give students another way to share what could be life-saving information.”

“What we always see in the aftermath of critical incidents at schools across the country is that there were warning signs,” Munger stated. “People, particularly students, know about what is going on. The value in programs like See Tell Now! is being able to connect people who may have information, with people who have the ability to do something about it.”

For more information about See Tell Now! visit or contact 

Program Coordinator Chris Thoms at [email protected].

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