Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a law Thursday requiring New York school districts to consider installing silent panic alarms to directly alert authorities during emergencies.
The systems, which cost a few thousand dollars and can be accessed through a smartphone app, would allow schools to bypass 911 and discreetly connect with law enforcement “so no time is lost,” Hochul said during a press conference.
“We saw in Uvalde, in Parkland — police response time is imperative to saving lives,” she said, referring to the May 24 school shooting in Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers, and the one in Florida in 2018 that left 17 people dead.
The legislation is named “Alyssa’s Law” after 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, who was one of the students slaughtered during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The governor’s announcement came just moments after the Supreme Court struck down a century-old New York law that restricted the carrying of concealed firearms.
“I believe that we’ll be judged by history,” Hochul said. “Do we stand up with courage? Do we make the right decisions? Do we put the lives of others first — the right of a child to stay alive in school versus the right of someone to carry a gun?”
“I know where I come down on that equation,” she added.
The governor signed the bill, which passed the state legislature last month, alongside the Alhadeff family, and state and local officials. The United Federation of Teachers also threw its support behind the legislation.
Alhadeff’s parents have been pushing for the bill’s passage in New York for three years. The law is already on the books in Florida and in New Jersey.
“Alyssa was our everything,” said Alyssa’s mom, Lori Alhadeff. “A bright scholar, talented soccer player who wore the number eight, a wonderful friend to all that knew her, the center of our family.”
“Alyssa and her memory is at the heart of this law. And the students and teachers in the state of New York will now benefit from your support of this legislation.”
Alhadeff’s grandmother, Terri Rabinowitz, told The Post the family’s goal is to get the law passed nationwide.
“I know from being with superintendents of schools throughout the state of Florida it has already saved lives, teachers and students, not an active shooter, but just medical emergencies as well,” Rabinowitz said.
“If we had something like that in Parkland, looking back, it could have saved [lives],” she added.
The New York City Department of Education did not respond to an immediate request for comment on how the legislation, which is not a mandate, will impact local schools.