BCEA President Sue McBride joined Congressman Josh Gottheimer (CD5) in Woodcliff Lake, on Tuesday, July 30th, as he announced the Alyssa’s Legacy Youth in School Safety Act (the ALYSSA Act).
Named in honor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School freshman Alyssa Alhadeff, who lost her life in the tragic Parkland shooting, the ALYSSA Act is bipartisan federal legislation that will require silent panic alarms in all schools to immediately alert law enforcement of an active shooter situation.
The Alhadeff family lived in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, in the Fifth Congressional District, before moving to Parkland, Florida. Gottheimer and the Alhadeffs made today’s announcement on the soccer field at Woodcliff Lake Historic Park. Alyssa was an avid soccer player and was captain of her traveling team.
In February 2019, the State of New Jersey signed legislation, championed by the Alhadeffs, into law that requires all New Jersey public schools to install silent panic alarms that can be activated in case of an active-shooter situation.
Tuesday’s announcement of the ALYSSA Act will bring that requirement to all 98,000 public schools nationwide, and will also cut federal red-tape to create specially-designated investment in bringing trained School Resource Officers to more schools.
“We are here today to honor Alyssa and turn her memory, and the pain her family and friends carry every day, into action. We are here to announce the ALYSSA Act – to help protect children, like Alyssa, and all students, in the one public place they should feel safest – their schools,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Together, with silent alarms in every school directly connected to local law enforcement agencies and with School Resource Officers at more schools around the country, we are taking concrete steps to help further protect our children. That is Lori and Ilan Alhadeff’s number one priority, and as a dad of a seven-year-old and ten-year-old, it is to me, too.”
“We would like to thank Congressman Gottheimer for pushing this life saving school safety measure,” said Lori and Ilan Alhadeff, parents of Alyssa Alhadeff. “We really appreciate the efforts here in New Jersey to keep our children safe in school and I am excited to continue to expand those protections to every student in the country.”
“The members of the Bergen County Education Association wholeheartedly thank the Congressman for taking the lead in Washington on an issue that is so critical to the safety of our students and our school employees,” said Bergen County Education Association President Sue McBride. “These silent alarms will assuredly save lives. We are proud to stand with him, offering our full support.”
Woodcliff EA President Julie Ogden and BCEA Vice Presidents Andy Policastro and Esther Fletcher were in attendance. NJEA Executive Committee member from Sussex County, Sue Davis, Field Representative Carol Feinstein, and Associate GR Director Mike Flynn were also present for the announcement.