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RELEASE: Gottheimer Announces ALYSSA Act — Bipartisan Nationwide School Safety Legislation, Ahead of the Parkland Shooting’s Third Anniversary
Bill named in memory of North Jersey native Alyssa Alhadeff
Alhadeff family joins Gottheimer to announce bipartisan legislation
Requires silent panic alarms in all public schools & increases access to School Resource Officers
Only 29% of schools report using silent alarms directly connected to local law enforcement
Above: Lori Alhadeff (upper right), mother of Parkland, Florida, school shooting victim Alyssa Alhadeff, speaks during today’s announcement.
GLEN ROCK, NJ — Today, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) joined the parents of Alyssa Alhadeff — a North Jersey native who lost her life in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, three years ago this weekend — to announce the bipartisan Alyssa’s Legacy Youth in School Safety Alert Act (the ALYSSA Act).
The ALYSSA Act is bipartisan federal legislation to require silent panic alarms in all schools to immediately alert law enforcement of an active shooter situation. The bill will also increase investment in more well-trained School Resource Officers, to help protect students and faculty.
The Alhadeff family originally lived in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, in the Fifth Congressional District, before moving to Parkland, FL.
“We are here today to honor Alyssa and turn her memory, and the pain her family and friends carry every day, into action. We are here to announce bipartisan legislation — the ALYSSA Act — to help protect children, like Alyssa, and all students, in the one public place they should feel safest: their schools,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Together, with silent alarms in every school directly connected to local law enforcement agencies and with School Resource Officers at more schools around the country, we are taking concrete steps to help further protect our children in their schools.”
“In a life threatening emergency situation, seconds count. The ALYSSA Act will save lives by empowering our teachers to push a button that is directly linked to law enforcement. The ALYSSA Act needs to be an equitable, standard level of school safety protection in every school around the country. This is a movement and together we will Make Our Schools Safe!” said Lori Alhadeff, the mother of Alyssa Alhadeff and co-founder of Make Our Schools Safe.
“The members of the Bergen County Education Association wholeheartedly thank Congressman Gottheimer for taking the lead in Washington on an issue that is so critical to the safety of our students and our school employees," said Bergen County Education Association President Sue McBride. "These silent alarms will assuredly save lives. We are proud to stand with him, offering our full support."
Gottheimer and the Alhadeffs made the announcement together today, joined by Bergen County Education Association President Sue McBride, and Woodcliff Lake Councilmembers Jacqueline Gadaleta and Josephine Higgins.
In February 2019, the State of New Jersey signed legislation into law — championed by the Alhadeffs — to require all New Jersey public schools to install silent panic alarms that can be activated in case of an active-shooter situation.
Today’s announcement of the ALYSSA Act will bring that requirement to all 98,000 public schools nationwide, and will cut federal red-tape to create specially-designated investment in bringing trained School Resource Officers to more schools.
According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, only 29% of schools report using silent alarms that are directly connected to local law enforcement.
Watch today’s announcement HERE.
The bipartisan Alyssa's Legacy Youth in Schools Safety Alert Act (the ALYSSA Act) includes the following provisions:
Provision I — Silent Panic Alarms
Provision II — School Resources Officers