PARKLAND, Fla. – This upcoming school year, Alyssa’s Law officially goes into effect, which means every single public and charter school in Florida must have a mobile panic button system that can allow for immediate, clear communication with first responders during a life-threatening situation.
During the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school on Valentine’s Day in 2018, one factor played a major role — a lack of clear, fast communication.
“Information is so key to more effectively respond in a life-threatening emergency situation,” says Lori Alhadeff who lost her daughter during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas attack.
Broward School Board member, Alhadeff, lost her daughter Alyssa during the shooting and has since made it her mission to prevent attacks like this from happening again.
So, she helped create Alyssa’s Law, which was passed in Florida in 2020, requiring mobile panic button systems be installed in every public and charter school.
“We’re going to empower our teachers if there’s a life-threatening situation the teacher can push a button and it’s directly linked to law enforcement, so they can get on the scene as quickly as possible to help take down the threat or triage any victims,” she explained.
The Florida Department of Education is working with 10 different companies that provide those services, and, with the law officially going into effect this coming school year, both Broward and Miami-Dade schools say they are ready, and in compliance.
“We have met we have discussed it in workshop and we are working very aggressively to implement those panic buttons so that teachers will have access,” says Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Broward School Board Chair.
“we will be in compliance while utilizing the latest technology that requires nothing more than an installation on a smart phone and being able to rapidly communicate a situation in an emergency, real-time to law enforcement, first responders, in a coordinated fashion,” added Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
The Florida Department of Education is covering the costs of implementing these approved systems with the hopes of preventing this kind of tragedy from ever happening again.