ELMIRA, NY (WETM)- A new safety measure could soon be coming to New York Schools. Alyssa’s Law already passed in the state assembly last week and it now sits on Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk.
Alyssa’s Law is named after Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14 year-old whose life was cut short by the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Lori, Alyssa’s mother, founded the law a few years ago, describing her daughter as beautiful and vivacious. Alyssa even has ties to New York as she was born in Queens.
“Alyssa’s Law is a panic button,” says Lori, “we want to empower teachers to be able to push a button whether it’s on their cell phone, something they wear around their neck, or a hardwired panic button.”
Within seconds of that button being pressed, a mass notification would be sent out letting people and law enforcement know there is either a medical emergency or an active shooter situation. Lori says the idea of it is to help limit miscommunication within schools.
“Seconds really do matter,” says Lori, “we need to look at school safety about creating those layers and layers of safety protection, and Alyssa’s Law is definitely one of those really important layers.”
So far, Alyssa’s Law has been passed in New Jersey and Florida, and after speaking with the governor’s staff last week, Lori remains hopeful that it will soon pass in New York. However, funding for these panic buttons would cost a few thousand dollars a year.
Owner of Pugh Self-Protection and Combatives, Zachary Pugh, says it is offering a free training session to any school that may be interested.
“The training that we offer, is maximizing survival during the active shooter incident is something that when somebody is trained in that going to follow them wherever they go,” says Pugh.
He believes that everyone in schools, faculty and students, should be trained. This program is being offered for all grades, kindergarten through 12th grade. His business offers a two-pronged approach when training people for an active shooter situation.
If anybody or any school is interested in learning more about the free classes you can find more information by visiting Pugh Self-Protection and Combatives website.
Alyssa’s Law and Pughs self defense classes are two additional ways we can make our schools safer, so tradagies like Sandy Hook, Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School and Robb Elementary School can be prevented in the future.