TAMPA, Fla. - A bill named after a victim of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School massacre aims to put panic button systems in every school, and the proposal just cleared final committees this week.
Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, was killed in the Parkland school shooting two years ago and her mother, Lori Alhadeff wants to turn that tragedy into hope for others. She's been efforting Alyssa's Law ever since.
Lawmakers are considering the bill that would require every public school in Florida to have a panic alarm system.
“This is a layer of protection that we can put in our schools, that if there is a life-threatening emergency on campus, the teacher can push a button and know that there is a direct link of law enforcement,” said Alhadeff.
She was in Tallahassee as the law passed the committees in the state House and Senate this week. On Thursday, Alhadeff told FOX 13 over the phone - it’s progress.
“I’m very optimistic that the legislators will pass Alyssa’s law this legislative session,” she said.
Even though it’s not a law yet, school districts in the Tampa area decided to be proactive, installing panic button systems before the law's passage.
“Now we are in the process of making sure that everything is going well with the system and also delivering the badges, just testing them and making sure that it works,” said Tanya Arja, a spokesperson for Hillsborough County Schools.
Hillsborough County Schools use a panic badge. Other districts including Sarasota, Hernando, Highlands, and Pasco use an app. Pinellas, Manatee, Citrus and Polk county school districts also use an emergency alert system that school staff can use in case of an emergency or threat.
They all serve the same purpose, calling for help as soon as possible.
“We know that seconds count when it comes to threats on our campuses,” said Arja.
Alhadeff knows too well that seconds can save lives.
“Alyssa will be honored and remembered in the state of Florida through Alyssa’s alert and these panic buttons. And knowing that Alyssa’s alert will save lives,” she said.
Alyssa’s law is on the calendar to go for a vote in the Florida legislature in the following two weeks. If passed and signed by the governor, it would take effect on July 1.