The United States of America has had over 2000 cases of school shootings since 1970. Hundreds of children die yearly due to gun violence, and a lot of that violence happens at schools. Due to this reason, suggestions for new legislation to improve law enforcement response time during school shootings emerged after Alyssa Alhadeff, a victim in 2018’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. The article talks about the origin of the new legislation, its purpose, what states have approved it, and what it aims to do. Read more to find out what this legislation aims to do.
Alyssa Alhadeff and 16 other high school students went to school on 14th February 2018 and never returned home. Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old student who was previously studying at the school, entered the school on the day of the tragedy and brutally murdered 17 students other than Alyssa, shooting them multiple times.
He entered Alyssa’s classroom first as it was closest and shot her, moving on to shoot other students. Reports say that Alyssa was still alive after the first shot, and if she got moved to a safe place or if there were ways to contact law enforcement, and they reached in time, she would have lived.
Incidents like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting have pushed the government to suggest new legislation to ensure that no other child feels helpless during a school shooting or other incidents that endanger their life. Alyssa’s law requires schools to install silent panic buttons which immediately inform law enforcement agencies so they can respond quickly and save as many lives as possible.
The purpose of this legislation is that during incidents like school shootings, any teacher or student can press the panic button, which is silent so that it does not alert the shooter. In the meantime, the police could arrive and take any possible action against the shooter.
Some states have passed this law, like New Jersey, New York, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, Virginia, and Florida, while others have proposed it, and its approval is still in progress.
Alyssa’s mother, Lori Alhadeff, became an activist after her daughter’s passing and started a project. She and her husband arranged a memorial for Alyssa, which many people attended to pay their respects to the departed teenager. In addition, the loss encouraged Lori to work towards creating a safer environment for students at school.
The project’s purpose was to help bring a change and make schools safer for students, which was her non-profit organization called “Make Our Schools Safe.” She also worked alongside other victims’ families to pass Florida Senate Bill 7026. In 2019, New Jersey became the first state to pass Alyssa’s law, followed by other states, including Alyssa’s law Florida.
The new legislation requires that schools install panic buttons on the premises. Public schools (from kindergarten to grade 12), campuses of the public schools, and charter schools are required to abide by this legislation in states which have approved the law.
Implementing the technology and services provided by SaferWatch can prevent another tragedy from happening inside our educational facilities.
The SaferWatch mobile app allows users to report emergency and non-emergency events in real-time. Due to the growing number of mass school shootings in America, this panic button can help save many lives and reduce police response time. Using SaferWatch App, school administrators and staff can instantly notify 911 call centers with GPS coordinates and gain 2-way communication with law enforcement providing them immediate access to security camera feeds using Motorola Aware Solutions Technology.
Applications like this can help many schools protect their students during school shootings and can help create a safer environment for students. The number of mass school shootings can decrease, and make parents feel safe when they send their children to school.