In June of 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Alyssa’s Law into effect.
On February 14, 2018, an active assailant entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and started shooting indiscriminately at students and teachers, killing 17 innocent people and injuring another 17, making this school shooting one of the deadliest in history.
One of the victims of this heartbreaking event was 14-year-old, Alyssa Alhadeff. Her mother, Lori Alhadeff, took the loss of her daughter and turned it into action by prompting a call to update school safety protocols and better security measures for K-12 schools across the United States. As a result, “Alyssa’s Law” was created. Named after Alyssa, this legislation would require some kind of silent panic button or alarm in all public schools with a direct link to law enforcement agencies.
What Does the Passing of This Law Mean for New York Schools?
The passing of this legislation comes at a critical time in our country, where the surge of school shootings has soared to the highest number in two decades.
Alyssa’s Law requires schools to consider the use of silent panic alarm systems when reviewing and developing their school safety plans.
State Assembly member Kenneth P. Zebrowski spoke on the matter. “Alyssa’s Law will sharpen school safety plans around the state by ensuring districts consider panic alarms and direct communication technologies between buildings and police.”
“These technologies and procedures may reduce response times and save lives during a school shooting incident. This bill won’t bring Alyssa back, but it will honor her memory. I would like to thank especially Alyssa’s mother Lori, her cousin Jaydn and the rest of her family for their tireless work to make our schools safer.”
What is a Panic Button?
The Rave Panic Button is a smartphone app that replaces physical and often inaccessible wall-mounted panic alarm systems. Having access to a panic button on the phone in your pocket or bag shaves valuable minutes from response times in an emergency – potentially saving lives. However, the Rave Panic button is more than one big red button on a smartphone screen. It is direct access to the people who can help and continued collaboration throughout an event.
The benefit of having this system in place is that the right information and aid can be provided to the right people in the least possible time. Onsite security can deal with an incident as best they can, or provide an initial response to the incident while awaiting the arrival of police, fire or emergency medical service. Onsite personnel can also remove potential obstacles that may delay the arrival of emergency services once they are alerted to the incident. Rave Panic Button also allows your organization to prepare for all types of emergencies with robust drill management capabilities, and manage compliance with reporting by school, date range, and drill type.
How a Panic Button Can Help During a School Emergency
During a school emergency, seconds and minutes count. This valuable time could be the difference between life and death. All too often we see confusion and panic during an emergency situation, and by the time law enforcement arrives the event is over. Having the ability to quickly notify 9-1-1 of a school emergency along with critical information to assist first responders as they arrive on scene is crucial.
Unfortunately, in Parkland, TX just over two years ago, an active assailant was terrorizing students and staff ,while teachers on another floor were completely unaware of the situation unfolding below them. They unknowingly allowed their students to leave the classrooms as they believed there was a fire alarm sounding through the hallways. Communication during this terrifying time could have prevented students and teachers from putting themselves in danger.
With a mobile panic button application, users can simultaneously reach 9-1-1, first responders, and school staff with just the touch of a button. Whether an active assailant, medical, fire, or other emergency, law enforcement and first responders will have access to this information and will be better equipped to arrive on scene prepared. The accurate reporting of what type of incident is occurring as well as precise location data and dynamic status checks on those involved helps reduce emergency response times, which could ultimately end up saving a life.
Rave Mobile Safety hosted a webinar titled: “Alyssa’s Law in NY – What This Means for Your School Community.” Join Rave and Suffolk County, NY, for an important decision on this new legislation and the tools you could have in place to take action today
Attendees will learn the following:
- A recap of Alyssa’s Law and what is required of New York schools
- How other counties in the state are using a panic button for school emergencies
- Funding options available for this technology