Governor signs “Alyssa’s Law,” enhancing school security across state

Gov. J. Kevin Stitt signed legislation that will improve safety and security of students and staff in schools across the state. House Bill 4073, also known as “Alyssa’s Law,” implements a mobile panic alert system in all school districts starting this fall.

The act is named after Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. She was the victim of a school shooter who killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018.

Key Features of Alyssa’s Law include:

Real-time coordination: The mobile panic alert system will connect emergency service technologies to ensure real-time coordination among multiple first responder agencies.

Enhanced 911 integration: The system will integrate with public safety answering point infrastructure to transmit 911 calls and mobile activations, providing immediate alerts to designated school personnel.

Comprehensive emergency response: Emergency responders will receive vital information such as floor plans and caller location to assist during emergencies, ensuring a prompt and efficient response.

“As the father of young kids, I know how important it is to drop them off at school and know they will be safe,” said Stitt. “School safety is a top priority of mine and this legislation will help schools better coordinate with law enforcement to ensure real-time communication when it matters most.”

HB 4073 bolsters local school choice and free market competition for school mobile panic button systems. The legislation tasks the State Board of Education with adopting a list of approved mobile panic alert systems that meet rigorous standards. These systems must:

Automatically alert designated school personnel during an emergency initiated by smartphone application, phone call, text message, or other technology.

Provide emergency responders with critical situational information during a 911 call.

Integrate designated school personnel with emergency responders for real-time situational updates.

“We work with multiple school districts across the nation and in Oklahoma to tap directly into 911 communications to give law enforcement real-time insight into a school during an emergency,” said Ron Siegenthaler, chairman of 911GeoFence, a Tulsa-based public safety company providing mission-critical situational awareness between schools and the existing 911 system. “School safety is a priority for all. As Oklahomans, it was important for us to work with Oklahoma’s elected officials to ensure local schools have the opportunity to pick a school safety product that best meets their needs and aligns with their community’s emergency technology.” 

HB 4073 also allows schools to tap into existing funding under the “School Security Revolving Fund.” The Legislature has made historic investments for Oklahoma student safety, totaling $50 million a year for the School Security Revolving Fund. This funding will support the implementation of HB 4073.

“Passage of Alyssa’s Law is a monumental achievement for the safety of our students and school staff,” said State Superintendent Ryan Walters. “This legislation ensures that our schools are equipped with the necessary tools to respond swiftly and effectively to emergencies, providing peace of mind to parents, students and educators alike.”

HB 4073 was first signed by the governor on June 14 and the law went into effect July 1, 2024. 


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