By Kevin Deutsch
Broward School Board Member Lori Alhadeff on Wednesday called for passage of new school safety legislation during an appearance on Rep. Ted Deutch’s gun safety webcast.
Alhadeff said the Safer Schools Act, introduced in April by Deutch and Rep. Roger Williams (TX), would establish a new federal grant program to pay for school vulnerability assessments and physical security improvements.
“The risk assessment is so important because our principals…are not school safety experts,” Alhadeff told Deutch during their live conversation on Facebook. “So the risk assessment is having safety experts come in look at their school and see what needs improvement. What are the soft points of the school? And the risk assessment is great, but it’s only on paper. We actually need that funding to implement the things that are referenced in the risk assessment.”
Alhadeff, who founded the nonprofit Make Our Schools Safe after her daughter Alyssa died in the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, also called on more states to pass Alyssa’s Law, which requires the installation of silent school panic alarms directly linked to law enforcement.
Alyssa’s Law is already on the books in Florida and New Jersey, with additional bills introduced in Texas, Arizona, New York, and Nebraska. A federal version has also been introduced in the House of Representatives.
“We are working so hard in many different ways to make our schools safer so that when our kids go to school, they come back home alive,” Alhadeff said.
Alhadeff, representing Coral Springs, Parkland, Tamarac, and parts of Margate and North Lauderdale, lives in Parkland. A former teacher and mother of three, she was elected in 2018 and announced her re-election campaign this year.
The conversation was part of a week-long video series on gun violence prevention with surviving family members from Parkland and others battling gun violence. Each session is streamed live on Rep. Deutch’s Facebook page.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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