In recent years, the issue of school safety has become a pressing concern. Alyssa’s Law has emerged as a vital piece of legislation aimed at improving the response time of law enforcement during emergencies in schools. Named after Alyssa Alhadeff, a victim of the Parkland school shooting, this law mandates the installation of silent panic alarms in all public elementary and secondary school buildings. In this blog post, we will explore the origins of Alyssa’s Law, its requirements and its adoption across different states. 

Why is it Called Alyssa’s Law?  

Alyssa Alhadeff was a 14-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. She lost her life on February 14, 2018, during a mass school shooting. In the aftermath, Alyssa’s mother, Lori Alhadeff, founded the nonprofit organization Make Our Schools Safe. The organization focuses on enhancing school safety measures and works to expedite gun safety legislation. One of the organization’s achievements was Alyssa’s Law. 

Requirements of Alyssa’s Law 

Alyssa’s Law requires all public elementary and secondary school buildings to be equipped with silent panic alarms that directly notify local law enforcement. While the exact wording of the law varies from state to state, the core objective remains the same: to provide a rapid and discreet means of alerting authorities during emergencies. The installation of panic alarms allows for a swift response from law enforcement, potentially saving lives and minimizing the impact of critical incidents. 

Several states have recognized the significance of Alyssa’s Law and have taken steps to implement it within their education systems. As of now, the following states have passed Alyssa’s Law: 

  • New Jersey (February 6, 2019) 
  • Florida (June 30, 2020) 
  • New York (June 23, 2022) 
  • Texas (May 5, 2023) 
  • Tennessee (May 10, 2023) 

In addition to these states, several others have introduced bills or are in the process of considering the adoption of Alyssa’s Law. Some of the pending states include Arizona, Georgia, Nebraska, Oregon and Virginia. 

How to Meet the Requirements of Alyssa’s Law  

To meet the requirements of Alyssa’s Law, various solutions have been developed and made available to schools. These solutions include silent panic alarm systems that integrate with existing security infrastructure, enabling prompt and effective responses from law enforcement. 

Additionally, access control systems can provide schools and school districts with the tools necessary to protect facilities and the people within them. Features like emergency lockdowns give IT and security teams the ability to automate which doors lock and unlock during an emergency. This can be effective to grant access to first responders or limit access to others. 

Video management systems also add a layer of security and safety to school facilities. These video systems provide system administrators with campus-wide oversight and can act as a deterrent to bad actors. Many of these systems can also be integrated with cloud-based access control platforms. By connecting both systems, administrators can view a door access event alongside the corresponding video of that event.   

By deploying these compliant solutions, schools can enhance their emergency preparedness and prioritize the safety and well-being of their students and staff. 

For more information about school security or to learn if Genea Security is right for you, contact a Genea representative today

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