By: Jen Russon
A bill mandating a panic alert system in every Florida public school cleared the Senate this week and passed on the House Floor Tuesday with bipartisan support.
The House bill HB 23/SB 70, “Alyssa’s Law”, is a compromise with the Senate version and requires public and charter schools to implement a mobile panic button system, referred to as “Alyssa’s Alert.”
The bill is named for 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, who was brutally murdered during the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
Alyssa’s parents, Lori and Ilan Alhadeff, gained the support of Senator Lauren Book and State Representatives, Michael Gottlieb, and Dan Daley of Coral Springs when their nonprofit, Make Our Schools Safe, sought legislation that ensures a direct link to local law enforcement when emergencies occur.
“The only thing that would make me happier is to have Alyssa with us. I know she is with me in spirit as I fight for the safety and security of all students and teachers in Florida,” said Lori Alhadeff, a school board member for Broward County Schools.
Dan Daley’s office confirmed Alyssa’s Law is one part of a larger effort to ensure that our schools are equipped to keep students safe during active shooter situations.
“In these situations, every second matters and, with the passing of this legislation, every school will be equipped with technology that will notify first responders and law enforcement in rapid time,” said Daley.
Daley, a Democrat who is South Florida’s newest State Representative for the District 97 seat, said everything that can possibly be done to protect children in their classrooms, should be done, and that Alyssa’s Law represents a multifaceted approach.
“It’s a tremendous step in the right direction toward keeping our kids safe in an emergency situation,” said Daley.
Following final approval in Tallahassee Tuesday morning, Alyssa’s Law is headed to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, where it will be signed into the law of the land.
Parkland Talk will have more on Alyssa’s Law as those details emerge.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.