© 2021 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Law & Justice

More Teens In Mountain West Brought Weapons To School Than Nationwide Average

Beth Pendergrass
Twin Falls School District
9.8 percent of surveyed high schoolers in Idaho reported carrying a weapon on school property in the past 30 days. Pictured: High schoolers in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Each year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks high schoolers about their risky behavior - anything from drug use to bringing weapons to school. For at least one behavior our region’s youth has a high score.


The CDC asked high schoolers if they had brought a gun, knife or club on school property in the past thirty days. In the Mountain West states, students were more likely to report bringing a weapon to school than the nationwide average of four percent.

In Idaho, nearly 10 percent of high school students reported bringing a weapon to school. 

The CDC didn’t offer reasons for these numbers, but recent highschool graduate Noah Hart has some ideas. 

"Idaho, being a rural state, a really hunting-heavy state, it kind of makes sense that a lot of these kids have access to firearms," Hart says.  

Still he doesn’t think that’s the main reason.

"I think that, ultimately, the reason you would choose to bring something like that to school is for protection or, you know, something else terrible."  

Wyoming was the only Mountain West state that did not participate in the CDC survey. 

Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.