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Mother of Parkland school shooting victim pushes for Alyssa's Law in New York

Mother of Parkland shooting victim pushes for Alyssa's Law in New York
Mother of Parkland shooting victim pushes for Alyssa's Law in New York 02:20

ALBANY, N.Y. -- There is pressure on the New York State Legislature to make schools safer with silent panic alarms.

Alyssa's Law, which mandates such alarms, is named after 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, who died in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida. 

CBS2's Lisa Rozner spoke with her mother, who is pushing for change in Albany.

"On Valentine's Day, I texted my daughter, Alyssa. I told her to run and hide, that help was on the way," said Lori Alhadeff, president of Make Our Schools Safe.

Help didn't arrive in time. Alyssa, a freshman, was one of 17 people killed by the gunman. 

"We had mass confusion with 911. They didn't even know where the school was located," Alhadeff said. 

Alhadeff and her family have been pushing for the passage of Alyssa's Law in New York for three years.

This week, Alhadeff is in Albany to meet with more than 250 lawmakers, asking them to consider the bill that would require every school to evaluate whether it can and should install a panic alarm. 

Jadyn Turner, Alyssa's cousin, is a high school student in Nyack. She says the cost should not be prohibitive. 

"And with them being able to be attached to phones and computers, a lot of it is just downloading software," Turner said. 

Alyssa's Law already exists in Florida and New Jersey. Hillsdale Public Schools have a button that staff can press.

"The principal or anybody here in the main office or the school could come here, lift the case and press the plunger," Hillsdale Schools Superintendent Robert Lombardy said. 

Strobe lights go off, notifying students to go into lockdown. If staff cannot reach the device, there's a number they can call that will activate it right away. 

"This goes right to 911 and tells the dispatcher," Hillsdale School Safety Officer John Scordato said. 

In New York, the bill has passed the Senate. The Assembly education chair and bill sponsor are optimistic it will come up for a full vote this session.

"I think we have a lot of momentum," said Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski. "Telling her story has been meeting with assembly members, senators and even the governor's office."

"Especially in light of some of the shootings that have happened across the nation, that it gives some consolation to parents," said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto. 

Some New York schools already use panic alarms. The proposed law would require every district to at least consider them.

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