Beginning Friday, Ohio school officials are required to notify a student's family within two hours if a child is absent at the start of the school day without notice.

If a parent or guardian doesn't notify a school of a child's reason for missing school, officials must alert parents with a phone call, email, text message, visit or other method approved by a school board.

The new law, referred to as "Alianna's Alert," aims to ensure the safety of students who walk to school or take public transportation. It was prompted by the 2017 murder of 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze, who was lured away from a bus stop on Cleveland's east side. Gov. John Kasich signed the law in December as part of House Bill 66.

Sen. Sandra Williams, D-Cleveland, a sponsor of the initial legislation, said it's important for parents to be informed because every second counts when a child is missing.

"Parents can now feel more secure knowing that they will be notified when their child does not arrive to school," Williams said in a statement Thursday.