The Florida Department of Education selected a new school security partner to help the department demonstrate compliance with Alyssa’s Law, a new school safety law that goes into effect for the 2021-2022 school year.

The law, named after one of the students killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018, requires schools to install silent panic alarms linked to law enforcement and first responder services.

The Department of Education selected Everbridge, a software company that provides enterprise software applications, to develop and install mobile panic alarm systems in Florida’s K-12 schools.

“Complying with Alyssa’s Law is critical for school districts to protect students and staff who find themselves in emergency situations,” Tracy Reinhold, Everbridge Chief Security Officer and former head of the FBI’s Intelligence Division, said. “Our mobile panic button technology surpasses the state’s requirement. We’re honored to serve hundreds of organizations across all of Florida’s 67 counties and look forward to providing Florida school districts with the same innovative safety solutions.”

The Department of Education explained the new solution “allows for full interoperability between K-12 schools, the district and the local public safety answering points (PSAPs) to provide access to digitized floor plans with the location of the person who activated the panic button.”, the solution enables anyone on the campus, with or without access to the mobile app, to simply call 911 and the system will respond the same way as the mobile panic button activation. The 911 call center will immediately connect the caller with the PSAP and opening the digitized floor plans for first responders. The solution also allows the school to instantly notify parents and guardians of a school incident and keep them updated throughout.

The Department of Education said schools will be able to use Everbridge’s notification capabilities for more than school safety incidents. During the ongoing pandemic, schools can use the notifications to inform students, faculty, and staff of coronavirus risks. Additionally, school districts will be able to use the technology during severe weather incidents to quickly communicate with the entire school community.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs