Emergency Mass Notification Mobile App Software
Layered Solutions’s Emergency Mass Notification Mobile App Software with wireless Panic Alarm

What is Alyssa’s Law

Alyssa’s Law is legislation that was first adopted in New Jersey. Alyssa’s Law is a state law that requires all public schools to install silent panic alarms that directly connect to law enforcement.

The law was named after Alyssa Alhadeff, a student who lost her life in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. The law was signed by Governor Phil Murphy in 2019 and requires all public elementary and secondary schools to have the panic alarms installed. The goal of Alyssa’s Law is to provide a quick and direct way for schools to notify law enforcement in the event of an emergency, such as an active shooter or other crisis.

Alyssa’s Law requires that panic alarms installed in New Jersey public schools must be

  • Silent
  • Directly linked to local law enforcement
  • Capable of alerting law enforcement of the location of the emergency within the school

Where is Alyssa’s Law or similar panic alarm legislation required

According to Make Our Schools Safe, several other states have passed Alyssa’s Law or similar legislation or have already implemented panic alarm systems in their school safety plans.

States that have enacted Alyssa’s Law or similar legislation *

  1. New Jersey passed Alyssa’s Law on 2/6/2019
  2. New York passed on 6/23/22
  3. Florida Senate Bill 7026, is a school safety bill passed three weeks after the Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Under the law, all public schools are required to have panic buttons or a mobile app that can alert law enforcement of an emergency.
  4. Tennessee passed Alyssa’s Law (HB 0322) in May 2023 requiring school safety teams to implement panic alert technology schools.
  5. Texas passed Alyssa’s Law (SB 838/HB 669) effective May 5, 2023 – Schools will have until the start of the 2025-2026 school year to install panic alert technology. Under the law, school districts including charter schools will be required to provide silent panic alarms in classrooms that directly connect to law enforcement.
  6. Utah passed Alyssa’s Law (HB0084) and was signed by Governor Cox on March 12, 2024.

States where Alyssa’s Law or a similar school safety act is pending legislation:*

  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Nebraska
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

*Information current as of April 2024

The Federal Government & Alyssa’s Law

The federal government has proposed legislation including the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019, which would require all public schools to have a panic alarm system in place.

How to Comply with Alyssa’s Law

Specifically, the law requires the installation of a panic alarm system that meets certain requirements, including being able to:

  • Transmit a signal or message to appropriate law enforcement agencies
  • Transmit a signal or message to a central location that is monitored by school officials
  • Be silent and not audible within the school building
  • Capable to showing law enforcement the location of the incident within the school
  • Be able to be manually activated by school personnel
  • Be tested at least twice a year to ensure it is working properly

There are several different types of panic alarms that can meet these requirements, including

  • mobile or wireless panic buttons that can be carried on a person
  • fixed panic alarms that are installed in specific locations throughout the school

The difference between panic alarm and panic button

One question we get asked a lot — “is there a difference between a panic alarm and a panic button?” The answer is yes, technically there is a difference between a panic alarm and a panic button.

A panic alarm is a security system that is designed to immediately alert authorities of an emergency situation. Typically, a panic alarm is installed in a fixed location, such as a wall or ceiling, and is activated by pushing a button or pulling a cord. The alarm sends a silent signal to a central monitoring station, which then alerts law enforcement or other emergency responders to the situation.

A panic button, on the other hand, is a small device that can be carried on a person, such as a keychain or necklace. When activated, the panic button sends an alert to a monitoring station or emergency contact, notifying them of the situation. Panic buttons are often used by individuals who work alone or in high-risk environments, such as healthcare workers, hotel workers, real estate agents, or delivery drivers.

While both panic alarms and panic buttons are designed to alert authorities in emergency situations, they serve different purposes and are often used in different contexts. Panic alarms are typically installed in fixed locations, such as schools or office buildings, while panic buttons are often used by individuals who need to quickly and discreetly signal for help in a personal emergency.

It is important for schools to work with a qualified mass notification software provider like Layered Solutions to select the right type of panic alarm system that meets the requirements of Alyssa’s Law and your specific school safety needs.

Layered Solutions’ mass notification software complies with Alyssa’s law. By utilizing your existing disparate hardware, Layered Solutions can help you with Alyssa’s Law compliance to save time and hopefully lives.