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Chester County Press

Alyssa’s Law introduced to improve responses to life-threatening emergencies in schools

Pennsylvania State Senators Art Haywood (D-4) and Tracy Pennycuick (R-24) have introduced legislation known as Alyssa’s Law. This legislation addresses the issue of law enforcement response time when a life-threatening emergency occurs at a school. The bill requires that all public schools be equipped with silent panic alarms that directly notify law enforcement in the event of a school-based emergency. This law is of utmost importance because it enables school authorities to take proactive measures that can potentially save lives during emergencies.

Alyssa’s Law is named in honor of Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the victims of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Due to tireless advocacy by Alyssa’s family and their organization, Make Our Schools Safe, Alyssa’s Law has been signed into law in five other states and is in progress in several others.

Senators Haywood and Pennycuick hope this legislation will swiftly pass through the General Assembly, ultimately improving emergency response protocols within schools across the Commonwealth and ensuring our students are protected during life-threatening emergencies.

“This legislation is a critical step toward ensuring the safety of the Commonwealth’s students,” said Senator Haywood. “Installing panic buttons in schools allows for direct connection to local law enforcement, in turn allowing police to respond faster in the event of an emergency. I am hopeful that Pennsylvania will soon join the growing list of states that have enacted this common-sense and lifesaving measure.”

“When a dangerous incident occurs on school grounds, the most rapid response possible can save lives,” Senator Pennycuick said. “We owe it to our children and teachers to use every method available to give them the best chance to get through these emergencies unharmed.”

“Today, we are one step closer to America’s students being more likely to come home at the end of the day. Pennsylvania is proving itself to be a leader in school safety through this legislation,” said Lori Alhadeff, co-founder of MOSS and mother of Alyssa Alhadeff, a victim of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Shooting in Parkland, Florida. “Had my daughter’s school had panic alarms in the classroom, Alyssa might still be here today.

Jaidyn Turner, Alyssa Alhadeff’s cousin, added “If in passing Alyssa’s Law we are able to save one life it will have been worth it, because students deserve to go to school every day and know they are safe no matter what situations arise.”