NY Schools may be Required to Install “Panic Buttons” to Alert Police of Shooters
By Yehudit Garmaise
School districts in New York will be required to seriously consider installing panic buttons that would silently alert police in cases of emergencies, such as school shootings, after Gov. Kathy Hochul signs new legislation today.
The new school safety legislation, which has already been passed in Florida and New Jersey, is called “Alyssa’s Law.”
It is named after 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, who was murdered by 19-year-old Nickolas Cruz, who opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018.
“[That day,] I texted my daughter,” said Lori Alhadeff, the mother of Alyssa, who was tragically one of 17 people who were killed and 17 who were injured four years ago in the mass shooting. “I told her to run and hide, that help was on the way.”
The help, however, did not arrive on time just as it didn't on May 24 when 19 students were killed in a fourth-grade classroom in Uvalde, Texas.
In Uvalde, police knew the location of the school and the shooter, but sadly, stood outside the school and prevented parents from entering.
“We had mass confusion with 911,” Mrs. Alhadeff told CBS2 after the shooting at her daughter's school four years ago in Parkland, Fla. “[The police] didn’t even know where the school was located.”
Not wanting any other parent to go through the anguish she has said she goes through every day, Mrs. Alhadeff and her family have been pushing for legislation nationwide to ensure that police can respond as quickly as possible to emergencies in school.
New York legislators were influenced to pass the law that will save lives when every second counts by Rockland County residents Jordan and Jayden Turner, who were cousins of Alyssa Alhadeff and who joined Alyssa’s mother’s advocacy for the panic buttons in schools.