Virginia bill could require school districts to implement ‘panic alarm’ for life-threatening emergencies

The bill is similar to legislation called ‘Alyssa’s Law’, named after a student who was killed in the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

ROANOKE, Va. – A bill in Virginia’s General Assembly could lead to a better response from law enforcement when a life-threatening situation develops at a school.

Considering HB 1046, introduced by Del. Amanda Batten, R-James City, would require Virginia schools to have alert devices with technology that immediately notify EMS, law enforcement and other first responders in the case of an emergency.

The bill is modeled after “Alyssa’s Law,” which is named after one of the 2018 Parkland high school shooting victims, Alyssa Alhadeff.

Following the tragedy, Alyssa’s mom – Lori – started the organization Make Our Schools Safe. The goal is to make sure no other parent has to endure the pain Alyssa’s parents are living with.

“The goal is to get law enforcement and EMS on the scene as quickly as possible ... to mitigate the risk, save lives and to get help on the scene,” Alhadeff said.

She believes her daughter could have been saved if the school had something like this in place.

Roanoke City Schools just last year implemented a safety app with the same intentions.

Chief Operations Officer Chris Perkins, at the time, told 10 News it’s just another layer of safety precautions for the schools.

“We don’t have to wait for somebody, to tell somebody, to tell somebody until finally the right people get the information. We are all getting it now,” Perkins said.

The bill currently stands in the House Committee on Education.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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