What is Alyssa’s Law?Alyssa’s Law is critical legislation that addresses the issue of law enforcement notification and response times when a life-threatening school emergency occurs, because “time equals life.” The law calls for the installation of silent panic alarms that are directly linked to law enforcement, so in any emergency, law enforcement will be informed faster and be on the scene as quickly as possible, take down the threat, and triage any victims. Alyssa’s Law and the school safety efforts of Make Our Schools Safe will ultimately reduce the chance of other parents being forced to endure the unending pain Alyssa’s parents and the sixteen other Parkland families will forever feel. Pain too many parents in America are having to deal with as their children are shot at school. A pain that could’ve been avoided at MSDHS had the right safety protocols and a panic button been in place and utilized.
With passion, persistence, and community, Alyssa’s Law can become law in every state and better school security and safety protocols will become the new normal, instead of children’s lives being taken by killers.
Make Our Schools Safe’s MissionIn a conversation between Guard911® and Lori Alhadeff, she said one of the main goals of Make Our Schools Safe is to empower teachers and school staff during an active shooter crisis and create vigilance to stop it from happening in the first place. “It is Make Our Schools Safe’s mission to take action against poor school safety and security and spread the word about the importance of first-responder response times.” She explained, “Panic buttons and this type of technology speed up communication with law enforcement and among staff within the schools. With a silent panic button, if there is an active shooter or even a medical emergency, staff can respond more appropriately. When teachers, administrators, and law enforcement have an app that provides instant knowledge of exactly what is going on and where it is happening, everyone can work to keep kids away from the danger while at the same time, not creating a panic while the situation is handled.” She also shared that Make Our Schools Safe has coined the acronym P.O.W.E.R to guide school staff in how to avoid active shooter emergencies, as well as what to do should an emergency happen.
- P – Preparedness. Know the threats and hazards your school faces; plan and train for emergency responses to those threats and hazards; know and correct vulnerabilities, thus mitigating/preventing those threats and hazards events/incidents.
- O – Observation. Remain observant with situational awareness and decision support.
- W – Willingness to Act. Preparedness response training for school leaders and teachers enables the confidence and willingness to act.
- E – Education. Know your school’s response protocols and drills.
- R– Response. Rapidly respond and recover from threats and hazards as trained and planned for; build campus resiliency.
The Status of Alyssa’s Law & States Doing Their PartIn February 2019, Alyssa’s law was adopted in New Jersey. It has also been passed in the House of Representatives and is awaiting the Governor’s signature in Florida. Additionally, it has been introduced in the House of Representatives in New York and Nebraska. At Guard911®, we are left wondering why ALL states haven’t started the process to pass this important law to protect children’s lives.
Alyssa’s death is a stark reminder of the dangers of gun violence and the need for adequate school security measures,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “In New Jersey, we will do everything in our power to prevent these tragedies from occurring within our borders.”On a federal level, Representative Roger Williams (Republican, Texas, 25th District) and Representative Ted Deutch (Democrat, Florida, 22nd District) introduced H.R. 3665, the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019. The bill establishes federal grant programs for public schools to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in their security-related infrastructure. It also includes a provision to expand Alyssa’s Law nationwide.