NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A teen in Rockland County whose cousin died in the Parkland shooting is pushing for statewide legislation in her honor.
Alyssa’s Law would mandate every school have silent alarms.
Sixteen-year-old Jadyn Turner, of Nyack, was born only months apart from cousin Alyssa Alhadeff. The two cherished summers at Long Beach Island in New Jersey and a close friendship.
“I’d call her in the middle of the night and she’d answer the phone,” Jadyn said.
But Alyssa’s promising life was cut short at the age of 14 while she was sitting in class two years ago at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. She was shot ten times.
“She was like a very positive person and she was always, like, open to helping people,” Jadyn said.
Now Jadyn, a Nyack High School sophomore, is leading the charge in New York to pass Alyssa’s Law. In cases of an emergency, it would mandate there’s a button on the wall or an app that can quietly summon law enforcement.
Alyssa’s mom, who is pushing the bill nationwide, spoke to CBS2 from Florida.
“During the tragedy, I texted Alyssa and I told her to run and hide, that help was on the way, and unfortunately that help never came,” Lori Alhadeff said.
Sen. David Carlucci sponsored the bill in New York. He says during Parkland, fire alarms went off, creating chaos. He estimates silent alarms could cost $1,000 to $5,000 per school to implement.
“What we know is we need to keep it orderly and silent and make sure that the first responders can respond as quick as possible,” Carlucci said.
“What do you say to people who question cost?” CBS2’s Lisa Rozner asked Lori Alhadeff.
“At the end of the day, we have these panic buttons that protect our money and our banks … so why not put these also in our schools?” she said.
Rozner spoke with both chairs of the Senate and Assembly education committees. They say they need to evaluate the cost of this legislation.
Schools would get state funding for the alarms. New Jersey signed Alyssa’s Law last year.
It’s currently advancing in the Florida Legislature, where Alyssa’s mom believes it will pass this session.
In the meantime, Jadyn says she’ll keep pushing to make a difference.