Schools in New York will be required to consider using silent panic alarm systems when developing and updating their safety plans under a law signed Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The provision is named in honor of Alyssa Alhadeff, a student who was killed at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida in 2019.
"I am proud of the work we have done to pass a nation-leading bill package to crack down on the scourge of gun violence, but this is an ongoing fight and we cannot stop there," Hochul said. "We will continue to take aggressive action until every child in New York is safe to pursue an education without the fear of senseless tragedy. That's why I am proud to put pen to paper on Alyssa's Law, a real and meaningful piece of legislation that will require school districts to evaluate systems that can save precious minutes - and lives - in the event of an active shooter situation."
School districts that implement the alarm system could adopt a variety of means to alert teachers, staff and parents when a security situation arises on a campuses. Apps are available that can send email alerts and push notifications to warn of a dangerous situation and help get people to safety.
Schools be required to consider whether those alarm systems are useful when they develop building safety and security plans. The measure was approved by lawmakers in the final days of the legislative session alongside new gun laws, including requiring licenses for people to possess semiautomatic rifles and have them be at least 21 years old.
Hochul also previously approved a measure expanding the state's red flag law, which is meant to keep guns away from people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
The gun and school security measures are being adopted against the backdrop of a push on the congressional level to provide grants for states to enact red flag laws as well as bolster background checks and mental health programs.