Lori Alhadeff

Photo by Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS/Sipa USA

Parkland Mother On Mission To Make Schools Safer

February 14, 2019 - 11:18 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- One year after 17 students and teachers were killed in a Parkland, Florida high school, a former New Jersey resident is trying to make sure there are no more victims.

Lori Alhadeff's daughter, Alyssa, was just 14 years old when her life was cut short by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.

"Alyssa was beautiful. She had a laugh that was contagious. She was an incredible soccer player," Alhadeff told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

In her grief, Alyssa's mother became an advocate.

"Through my non-profit organization that I started after the tragedy, Make Our Schools Safe, I'm able to bring a voice for school safety change around the country," Alhadeff said. "School safety needs to be at the forefront and top priority of your school districts."

Just last week in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the new Alyssa's Law which requires panic buttons in schools.

But Alhadeff said there's other, simpler things than could be done.

"Our doors to our schools need to be locked. Our classroom doors need to be locked at all times," Alhadeff says.

She is also pushing to have all classrooms equipped with bulletproof doors.

Her daughter was initially shot through the window of a classroom door. "She was still alive when the shooter went across the hall but he came back and he shot her 10 times. If that window of the door was bulletproof she would still be alive today," Alhadeff says.

The massacre has also inspired Arielle Solomon, who was best friends with Alyssa when the teen lived in Woodcliff Lake, to become involved. She's a sophomore at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale.

The Pascack Hills High School sophomore says, "I want to make sure that this never happens at my school."