What is Alyssa’s Law?

Alyssa Aldaheff was a fourteen-year-old student at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, when the school’s name suddenly appeared on news headlines around the world. 

Seventeen people lost their lives that day in a tragedy beyond words. A former student at the school entered the school grounds armed with multiple weapons and committed one of the deadliest school shootings in history. 

In the aftermath of the incident, various political and legislative initiatives were begun in an effort to prevent other such tragedies in the future. One such initiative was named after Alyssa Aldaheff, among the youngest of that day’s victims, and Alyssa’s Law became a way to honor her and promote the need for changes in the way schools prepare for deadly confrontations. 

Alyssa’s Law was introduced in a number of state legislatures but New Jersey was the first to pass it into law. The New Jersey version of the law requires schools to have silent panic alarms that are connected to local law enforcement. It reads:

Smart Badge

“Panic alarm” means 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.

(It is) for use in a school security emergency including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or active shooter situation…it should not be audible in the school building.”

Several other states are promoting similar versions of Alyssa’s Law, with different states at different points in the process of enacting it. What they all have in common, though, is the desire to equip schools with technology that allows for faster response times for law enforcement and the ability to call for help in a simple but discreet way. 

Everyone is united in taking on the challenge of helping to prevent or at least mitigate the kind of incident that made Alyssa’s Law necessary. 

The tech that makes Alyssa’s Law work

The provisions of Alyssa’s Law are now easily achievable thanks to technological solutions. Wireless networks based on Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth® LE) allow schools and other institutions to set up simple, scalable digital communication systems that are easily integrated with outside parties, like law enforcement offices and first responders. 

For those on school campuses, carrying a simple Bluetooth® LE-enabled smart badge is enough to connect to this virtual network. A button on the badge can be used as an alert to call for help and the badge itself, along with the wearer, can be located in an instant, providing full visibility into the precise location of anyone with a badge

Instead of guessing the precise location of a confrontation by searching the area where an alarm is sounding, responders can see the exact place the call for help comes from on a digital map of the facility, so no time is wasted during the response.

Badges work indoors and outdoors – anywhere within the range of portals that can be positioned throughout the facility.  They are easily activated and provide a direct line of contact to those can intervene most effectively when a crisis situation arises. 

Combined with our partner offerings, Kontakt.io’s solution for mitigating the effects of violence on school grounds satisfies the requirements of Alyssa’s Law, which is likely to gain momentum nationwide as the issue continues to attract media attention. 

Make digital solutions part of the conversation

Obviously, this is a sensitive topic that needs to be treated with the proper sensitivity but the fact remains that school safety is a priority now unlike ever before. 

Now is the time to invest in solutions that provide teachers, administrators, and others with simple tools that are easy to use, ultra-portable and connected to digital networks that keep them in touch with the outside world when a crisis situation occurs. 

If you’re looking for ways to comply with Alyssa’s Law or similar regulations, or if you simply want to invest in an extra layer of security for your school, contact our sales team today.

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