Florida state representative files bill to mandate panic alarms in public schools

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State Representative Michael Gottlieb has proposed a bill that would mandate panic alarms in public schools starting in 2020.

The bill, HB 23, has been called “Alyssa’s Law” is named in honor of Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the 17 killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

The bill states that all public school buildings on the campus of a public elementary school, middle school or high school must be equipped with at least one panic alarm.

Each public school building must be equipped with at least one panic alarm for use in a school security emergency, including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or active shooter situation. The panic alarm must be directly linked to the local law enforcement agencies that are designated as first responders to the school’s campus and must immediately transmit a signal or message to those authorities upon activation.

Gottlieb’s bill states that the act should go into effect on July 1, 2020.

The panic alarm would be silent and would “communicate a life-threatening or emergency situation that requires a response from law enforcement.”

A companion bill, SB-70, was also filed by Senator Lauren Book, who serves on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.

Book pushed the bill last legislative session, but it never made it through the committee.

A version of “Alyssa’s Law” was passed in New Jersey in February 2019.

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