There have been 1,316 school shootings in the US since 1970—and gun violence in schools is on the rise. In many cases, slow response times by law enforcement increased fatalities in school shootings. That’s why many states and even federal legislators are rapidly passing Alyssa’s Law, a piece of comprehensive communication legislation that improves school safety.
Alyssa’s Law requires schools to install silent panic alarms with a direct link to law enforcement. The goal is to quickly mobilize emergency responders and law enforcement so they can stop threats and reduce fatalities.
New Jersey and Florida have already passed Alyssa’s Law, but legislation is pending in New York, Nebraska, Arizona, and Texas. Politicians have also introduced Alyssa’s Law at the federal level, so if your state doesn’t require it yet, it may soon become a national mandate.
Not sure how this panic button legislation will affect your school? Learn more about the history of Alyssa’s Law and how you can install panic button systems for your schools.
What is Alyssa’s Law?
Alyssa’s Law is named after Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old victim of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Alyssa’s mother, Lori Alhadeff, says law enforcement’s slow response time only compounded the tragedy and led to a greater loss of life. She lobbies for Alyssa’s Law in an effort to improve communication and law enforcement response times.
Alyssa’s Law requires all public and charter elementary and secondary schools to have silent panic alarms. The bill requires panic buttons not only in every classroom but on teachers’ mobile devices, too.
The purpose of Alyssa’s Law is to:
- Alert teachers and students of threats as soon as they’re detected.
- Notify law enforcement of emergencies in real-time.
- Identify the location of an emergency and communicate that to first responders.
- Warn everyone in the building to seek shelter.
Many states rolled out Alyssa’s Law for the 2021 – 2022 school year. However, it may soon become a federal law. It’s a good idea for schools to get ahead of the curve now to protect students and staff against the rising number of threats against public schools.
What is a mobile panic button?
Alyssa’s Law requires every classroom to have a silent panic button as well as mobile panic buttons, too. Mobile panic buttons enable teachers and staff to discreetly sound the alarm no matter where they are on campus. If a teacher is unable to access the panic button in their classroom, they can use their mobile device to silently request emergency assistance.
Mobile panic button technology integrates with local Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in real-time. It not only alerts emergency services and law enforcement, but it also alerts everyone in the school about a threat so they can seek shelter.
How to prepare for panic button legislation
Your state might not require panic buttons in schools just yet, but Alyssa’s Law is gaining overwhelming bipartisan support across the nation. It’s only a matter of time until panic buttons are required in every school, so it’s a good idea to proactively comply with Alyssa’s Law to create a safer learning environment.
Early preparation can make the difference between life and death for the children and staff at your school. Plus, many states are providing funds for schools to install silent panic buttons, so it’s an easy win for everyone on your campus.
Partnering with an experienced telephony provider like Dice Communications not only helps your school comply with Alyssa’s Law but it can save countless lives when seconds count. See how Dice’s communications IT services help schools create a safer learning environment.