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On February 14, 2018, seventeen people lost their lives, and seventeen others were injured, when an armed assailant opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Lori Aldahoff, who lost her 14-year-old daughter Alyssa that day, turned her tragic loss into action by developing Alyssa’s Law.
Alyssa’s Law requires schools to install silent panic buttons or alarms that link directly to law enforcement authorities in the event of a mass shooting or other emergency. This bill has already been signed into law in Florida and New Jersey. As of June 23, 2022, Alyssa’s Law was signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul as Senate Bill S.7132A.
The passage of Alyssa’s Law is a small yet important step forward in ensuring school safety. But what does this mean for New York school districts? Effective immediately, schools will be required to comply with S.7132A. In this blog post, we explain exactly what that means — and how schools can use Raptor Alert to comply with Alyssa’s Law.
Alyssa's Law in New York: What Are The Requirements?
S.7132A defines a panic alarm system as “a silent security system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life-threatening or emergency situation requiring a response from law enforcement.” This alarm signal may be activated via a wireless or wired panic button, or a mobile or computer application.
Alyssa’s Law requires school districts to consider implementing a panic alarm system when reviewing and developing their school safety plans. The law authorizes school boards to include information about the use of a silent panic alarm system in their district-wide safety plans.
Building-level emergency response teams are required to take this information into consideration and may decide to install a schoolwide silent panic alarm system as part of their internal and external communication strategies for building-level emergency situations.
Go Beyond Compliance with Raptor Alert
Engaging a silent panic alarm system can help schools conserve precious minutes in an active shooter or other emergency situation. The use of a panic alarm can expedite law enforcement response, preventing injuries and saving lives.
S.7132A requires all New York school districts to consider the installation of a silent panic alarm system in the creation of their schoolwide safety plans. Raptor Alert is one option districts can use to protect their schools.
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 emergency 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 911 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
Nearly 30% of New York school districts already entrust Raptor Emergency Management systems with the safety of their students and staff. Customers in states like New Jersey and Florida, which have already enacted Alyssa’s Law, report excellent results in using Raptor Alert to comply with the bill. (Click here to check out some of their success stories.)
Guide to K-12 Emergency Management
Proven Strategies to Protect Your School