There is a bill making its way through the Ohio state legislature that may have the support it finally needs to proceed, after a guilty verdict in a highly publicized murder case.
Sen. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) introduced Senate Bill 82 in response to the murder of Alianna DeFreeze. She’s the 14-year-old girl who boarded an RTA bus in January of 2017 and never made it to school.
Alianna’s family didn’t even know she wasn’t in class until later that day. Her body was found three days later inside an abandoned home. And just this week, a jury convicted the man accused of killing her.
Williams' introduced the Alianna Alert bill last spring. It stalled in the senate but was reintroduced last month and is starting to gain some traction.
It would require schools to make at least one attempt to call parents within two hours of the start of school if a child is absent and parents have not already notified the schools of an absence.
Heck, no matter what the circumstance is, parents should know when their kids didn’t make it to school!
Many school districts already have a notification system in place, but it varies greatly.
Some schools call parents that morning, some notify parents each week and some by month. Alianna’s Alert would make the notification system uniform in all Ohio schools.
Senator Williams told Cleveland 19 "It is imperative that parents be notified immediately if their child is absent from school. In a missing persons case, every hour is vital."
And as we tragically found out, in the case of Alianna DeFreeze, the delay very well could have cost her her life.
So, to the detractors who say schools don’t have enough time or personnel to make what could be a life-saving call, I ask you this: What’s the life of a child worth?
I know what my answer is.
How about you?
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