Alyssa’s Law Aims to Enhance K12 Safety
Schools in New Jersey will soon have to meet new safety standards after the state passed “Alyssa’s Law” in February 2019. The law is named after a student who had lived in New Jersey and was killed in the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the previous year. The law has two major requirements schools need to fulfill.
First, public elementary and/or secondary school buildings must be equipped with a panic button to be used during emergencies. The panic button needs to serve as a direct link to local law enforcement to alert them about a situation, and it cannot be audible within the building.
Second, the panic button must also activate an emergency light that is placed on the exterior of the school building.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how schools in New Jersey that implement InformaCast can fulfill the two requirements of Alyssa’s Law.
Silently Alert Law Enforcement
InformaCast can be configured to trigger alerts with the push of a button. These can be physical panic buttons, or ones configured using an IP desk phone or computer shortcut. Once triggered a notification can be sent to a predetermined group. With InformaCast Fusion, schools can include local law enforcement in these groups to receive SMS text messages, phone calls, or emails that provide details about an emergency taking place at the school. It’s important to note that InformaCast is not able to directly dial 911 in the event of an emergency.
Beyond fulfilling this requirement, InformaCast Fusion can provide additional safety benefits to help manage an emergency situation when a panic button is triggered. Messages sent to local law enforcement can also automatically bring them into a conference call with school officials. This helps all constituents have a better understanding of the situation that is unfolding, and deploy a more effective response.
Activate Visual Alerts
InformaCast Fusion offers integrations with a wide range of devices including strobe lights and digital signage to help fulfill the emergency light requirement of Alyssa’s Law. The moment the panic button is triggered, InformaCast can also activate an exterior light to turn on or begin flashing. This will signal that an emergency is taking place in the school, alert local law enforcement, and signal to others that they should stay away from a potentially dangerous situation.
With the ability to program messages to digital signage, InformaCast can help make that alert more explicit using text that displays a warning message.
Additional K12 Safety Benefits
While InformaCast can fulfill the requirements of Alyssa’s Law for New Jersey schools, those features are just a small part of a much larger suite of abilities that can help with school safety. InformaCast can also be used to trigger lockdowns, communicate messages about school closings or delays due to weather, and customize messages for whatever emergency a school is likely to face. Using audio and text messages that can reach digital signage, desktop computers, mobile devices, desk phones, overhead speakers, and more, schools can effectively communicate safety messages that keep students and staff safe.
Learn more on our Schools & Districts page and see how other schools are leveraging InformaCast for school safety.