“Alyssa’s Law” in Florida: What Schools Need to Expedite Emergency Response and Comply with the Law

Florida Alyssas Law

Seventeen people lost their lives and 17 others were injured when an assailant opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018. Lori Alhadeff, who lost her 14-year-old daughter Alyssa that dayturned her tragic loss into action.  

“Alyssa’s Law”—named after Alyssa Alhadeff—is legislation that requires public schools to have silent panic buttons or alarms that link directly to law enforcement agencies. Already passed into law in New Jersey, Alyssa’s Law is quickly gaining traction around the U.S, becoming a crucial consideration for school districts, not only to meet state requirements, but also—and most importantly—to better protect students and staff who find themselves in emergency situations. 

Florida Schools Must Comply by the 2021-2022 School Year

In July 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Alyssa’s Law (SB-70) into law, requiring public and charter schools to have mobile panic buttons installed that directly link to law enforcement and first responder agencies.  

Choosing the Right Panic Button Solution

To comply with Alyssa’s Law, the panic button solution must directly link to first responder agenciesbut the safety of students and staff in Florida is beyond a matter of simply complying with that one requirement. When evaluating panic button solutions, schools should consider ones that: 

  • Enable teachers and staff to quickly summon help for any type of situation from wherever they are on campus 
  • Allow for group messaging so all users—teachers, staff, incident commanders, and first responders, etc.—can communicate during the crisis 
  • Are customizable to your district’s emergency response protocols 
  • Are easy to implement and user-friendly 
  • Are part of an end-to-end emergency management system  

Schools will be exposed to significant risks if they only implement a stand-alone panic button to meet Alyssa’s Law. An end-to-end emergency management system that integrates all phases of school safety—preparation, response, and recovery—is critical to reduce those risks.  

Go Beyond Compliance and Fully Protect Your Schools

A cost-effective, integrated solution, Raptor® Emergency Management gives schools the tools needed to be prepared and to fully protect their students and staff when an actual crisis occursincluding a panic button, group messaging, individual student status, location sharing, as well as parent-student reunification and drill management. The integrated system has four main components that empower schools to: 

Silently initiate a mobile panic button to expedite awareness and response to localized incidents and district- and school-wide emergency situations. Raptor® Alert is a mobile panic button solution and emergency notification system that empowers teachers and staff to: 

  • Summon help immediately—for any type of situation—with a touch of a mobile button 
  • Instantly send alerts to a custom list of recipients, which can include administrators, staff members, and multiple first responder agencies 
  • Connect directly with 9-1-1 from their carrier-enabled device 
  • Communicate with all users in real-time through two-way group messaging across devices, including smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, and desktop computers 
  • Ensure alignment with their district’s emergency response protocols 
  • Request help for a localized incident—such as a playground or sports injury, student fight, or an irate visitor—that does not require first responder assistance 

Ensure a school never misses a drillRaptor Drill Manager® makes it easy for schools to schedule, conduct, and manage drillsThe system sends automated notifications to remind schools of any upcoming drills, as well as alerts district admins if any schools are out of compliance. Schools can initiate drills directly from a web-enabled device or through Raptor Alert, immediately showing the active drill in a robust dashboard. A record of drill completion is automatically populated in real time within the district dashboard, and schools can easily produce complete and accurate status reports for individual schools or for the entire district with the click of a mouse. 

Account for students and staff—and everyone on your campus including visitors, contractors and volunteers—during an emergency. Raptor Accountability™ gives incident commanders and first responders clear, real-time line of sight to the location and status of every student and staff member within minutes of an incident initiation. Easy-to-read desktop and mobile dashboards update automatically as data comes in and the system records a timeline of events for each student for post-incident reporting purposes. 

Reunify students with approved guardians 4x fasterRaptor Reunification® eliminates inaccuracy, reduces liability, and ensures students are only reunified with approved guardians. The system tracks every individual’s status changes in real time, allowing schools to generate detailed history of events for each student and staff member. Raptor Reunification is 100% aligned with The “I Love U Guys” Foundation® protocols.  

The Power of a Single, Integrated System

Raptor Technologies®—an uncompromising ally to over 32,000 K-12 schools nationwide—provides the only integrated school safety platform that empowers schools to keep unsafe individuals out, be prepared and know how respond to any emergency, and screen and approve volunteers.  

Contact us to schedule a personalized demo and see why over 67%—more than 2,520 K-12 schools—in Florida use Raptor to better protect their students and staff. 

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