NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A school safety package that includes a law created in honor of a Parkland School shooting victim has passed in the Tennessee House and now the Senate.
Alyssa’s Law encourages schools to put panic buttons in classrooms. If there were a life-threatening emergency of any kind, the button could be pressed, immediately alerting 911, first responders and law enforcement of the situation.
The law has already passed in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Alyssa’s mother, Lori Alhadeff, is leading the effort in her daughter’s memory.
“Alyssa lives inside of me every day,” said Alhadeff. “I’m Alyssa’s voice and I know that every time that panic button is pushed, that Alyssa is saving lives.”
Alyssa’s Law was added to the package by Rep. Jason Powell (D-Nashville) after he said a student reached out to him, passionate about what the law stands for.
“The thing that was so important to me is the fact that this would get emergency response to the school quicker and a much faster method,” said Powell. “That would help save lives if we were faced with another situation with a mass shooting, which hopefully we don’t see again in our community.”
It is up to school districts to implement Alyssa’s Law and the technology would cost about $2,000 a year.
The package also mandates public charter schools to adopt a comprehensive, district-wide school safety plan, requires exterior school doors to be locked and limits access to the main entrance.
Representative Powell said there needs to be a comprehensive approach to school safety and he sees Alyssa’s Law as a good step. He said the law hits even closer to home now after tragedy at The Covenant School.
“The little boy, William Kinney, who was murdered, he was a player in my son’s little league,” said Powell. “Every time my son plays and sees the red ribbons in the outfield, the infield, the players wearing their red because William played for the Reds… that is a constant reminder, to me, of the call to action to make sure that no parent, no parent in the state of Tennessee has to face the loss of their child to gun violence.”
“We can do more across the country, it shouldn’t take a school shooting, to be able to say, we need a list as all panic buttons in schools,” said Alhadeff.
Alhadeff said her heart is with all of the families impacted by The Covenant School shooting.
“This is a club that none of us ever wanted to be a part of,” said Alhadeff. “It’s important to know that these safety measures are crucial, that you make sure as a parent that you get involved with the safety at your school, because unfortunately, it’s not if another school shooter school shooting is going to happen, but when will that next school shooting happen and we have to be prepared.”
For more information on Alyssa’s Law, visit makeourschoolssafe.org.