Senators will hold hearing for 'Alianna's Alert' also known as SB 82 Wednesday

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The horrific murder of 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze has made many think about what could have been done to prevent her death.

Last year senators sponsored a bill called "Alianna's Alert" which would notify parents early on, if their child doesn't show up to school.

But it's been a year and that bill still isn't law.

Senator Sandra Williams who co-sponsored the bill says senators will hear it in committee on Wednesday.

"The chairwoman of the committee and the co-sponsor or joint sponsor has decided to hold a hearing just to accept the sub-bill that we discussed," said Senator Williams.

The amended version of Alianna's Alert would require schools to call parents within 120 minutes at the start of the school day, if their child has been marked absent.

Alianna DeFreeze was last seen January 26, 2017 boarding an RTA bus to go to school but she never made it.  Investigators say registered sex offender Christopher Whittaker kidnapped, raped and then brutally murdered her. Alianna's body was found in an abandoned home a few days later.

Alianna's parents say they didn't know she never made it to school, until after 5 in the evening.

They have supported the bill from the start but say 120 minutes is too long to find out if your child isn't in school.

"That's utterly ridiculous. Your child should be in school when they supposed to be in school. When I went to school, if I wasn't there in 15 minutes, my mother's phone was ringing," said Damon DeFreeze, Alianna's father. "That is too long. This man had 10 hours to do whatever he wanted to do to our daughter. 10 hours. Unacceptable."

But representatives from several districts, say some of the schools don't have the resources or all the information if this became Ohio law.  That has been one of the reasons why it's taken so long to pas the bill.

The Ohio School Boards Association has worked on the bill from the beginning and says it is satisfied with the amended bill.

In a statement:

"The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) began working with Sen. Williams early on to ensure that the bill is written in such a way that districts are able to provide proper notification to parents. OSBA has worked with Sen. Williams to extend the timeline for notification to guarantee that districts are able to meet the requirements of the bill, while at the same time notifying parents quickly when their children are not in school. OSBA also worked with Sen. Williams to ensure that districts could continue using current processes and procedures under this bill. For instance, many districts have an electronic attendance system that will cross reference student absences with a list of those students whose parents have given notice of their child's absence. The system then initiates an electronic call to the parents of students who are absent without notification. In many cases, this could result in faster notification than if an individual had to place calls these calls one at a time."

Senator Williams says all that's left to do is for people to support the bill so it will pass.

"Call legislators all across the state of Ohio and ask them to pass Alianna's Alert," she said.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.