NEW YORK (PIX11) — A heartbroken mother felt some measure of healing on Thursday as Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation named for her daughter, one of 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school massacre in Florida in 2018.
Hochul said she was proud to sign “Alyssa’s Law” to “protect innocent children who sit in class.” The law calls on school districts throughout New York state to consider installing silent panic alarm systems as a phone app that would bypass 911 operators, aimed at getting help much faster.
“By passing 911 and going directly to law enforcement, the app can show there is an active shooting in a school to draw attention to that second so no time is lost,” Hochul said.
The process reportedly could save two to three precious minutes in a shooting situation. The app could be easily installed on any mobile phone.
Alyssa’s mother, who lobbied three years for the legislation, believes vital minutes of response time might have made a difference for her daughter in the Florida massacre.
“I texted Alyssa and told her to run and hide, that help was on the way,” Lori Alhadeff said. “That help didn’t arrive in time to save our daughter, who was shot eight times.”
Though she’s not mandating school systems to install the panic alert system, Hochul is appealing to them to do so and says the state will reimburse them for the relatively inexpensive system.
“It will save lives,” she said.
Alhadeff thanked the governor for implementing the law.
“Alyssa and her memory are at the heart of this law and students and teachers in New York will now benefit from your support of this legislation,” she said.
Many other schools already have such systems in effect. Florida implemented one two years ago. New Jersey passed the same law in 2019. Several other states are now in the process of considering their version of “Alyssa’s Law.”