Governor Signs “Alyssa’s Law” Requiring School Districts to Consider Installing Panic Alarms

By Christopher E. Vatter

On June 23, 2022, Governor Hochul signed “Alyssa’s Law”, which requires “schools to consider the use of silent panic alarm systems[1] when conducting review and development of their school safety plans, and to expressly authorize their inclusion within building level safety plans.”[2]  Prior to the law’s enactment, schools were not required to consider the usefulness of silent panic alarm systems when developing school safety plans. The Bill is named after Alyssa Alhadeff, who was killed in a mass shooting at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglass Highschool in Parkland, Florida.[3] The hope is that: “([t]he implementation of an alert directly to all law enforcement in the area of a school can save precious minutes in an active shooter situation and allow for immediate police response.”[4]

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[1] According to the Bill, “‘Panic Alarm System’ shall mean 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 local law enforcement or, in the case of a school building located in  a municipality  in  which  there  is  no  municipal  police  department, a location designated by the  superintendent  of  state  police  and  may include  one  or  more  of the following: wired panic button or buttons, wireless panic button or buttons or a mobile or computer application.”


[3] Id.

[4] Id.