TCNJ Magazine Fall 2019

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25 FALL 2019 for me. It's not like the phone shuts off at 6 o'clock. I keep driving the need to create school safety in all the schools throughout the district. I definitely feel like I'm making a difference. Three weeks after the shooting, our family and Alyssa's teammates were invited to watch the U.S. women's national soccer team play England in Orlando. The team presented our sons and Alyssa's teammates with official U.S. team jerseys with Alyssa's number 8 and her name on the back. For the women's team to honor Alyssa really touched my heart. I know Alyssa would have been so excited to have them know who she is and remember her like that. fter Parkland, one of my neighbors from Woodcliff Lake told me the New Jersey legislature was about to pass a school safety bill and would like to honor Alyssa by naming it Alyssa's Law. When Governor Murphy signed it into law in February, Ilan and I stood beside the governor. Alyssa's Law requires every school to install a silent panic alarm to report an active-shooter episode to law enforcement. It could be a panic button in every classroom. It could be something that's worn by teachers. It could be an app on your phone. It's a com- monsense approach. The shooting in Parkland was over in five min- utes — most school shootings are over in five minutes or less — so we need to get help on the scene as quickly as possible. We're trying to get Alyssa's Law passed in Florida. I've been going to Tallahassee, talking with legis- lators. It's something we can make happen in every school. At the national level, Congressmen Ted Deutch of Florida, a Democrat, and Roger Williams of Texas, a Repub- lican, have co-sponsored a bipar- tisan school violence prevention bill. It's called the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act, and it would provide $2 billion in federal grants for public schools to improve safety on their campuses. The bill incorporates Alyssa's Law. On the day of the Parkland shooting, I really think lives would have been saved if we'd had this law. It might not have saved my daughter, but it could have saved others. ■ Christopher Hann, a New Jersey freelance writer, is a regular contributor to the magazine. Alumna Lori Alhadeff is president of Make Our Schools Safe, an organization dedicated to protecting students and teachers at school. Alyssa's Law requires every school to install a silent panic alarm to report an active-shooter episode to law enforcement. A

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