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School safety officers typically communicate via Parentlink, an automated call and email service.

If an event lasts longer than 30 minutes, parents and guardians will receive periodic updates.


In a potential emergency, please stay away from the school unless instructed to come. Having additional people on site makes it harder for law enforcement to assess situations and find potential threats.

What you need to know about school emergencies

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Tucson Unified School District works hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies in case of potential or real emergencies to ensure the safety of every child.

The two most common terms used in an emergency are:

  • Soft lockdown: In a soft lockdown, the campus is closed so that no one new can enter the environment. Instruction continues as normal. A soft lockdown is put into place in situations such as police activity in a neighborhood nearby.
  • Hard lockdown: In a hard lockdown, the campus is closed, and movement throughout the school is limited. A hard lockdown is put into place when there is a possibility that someone or something harmful could be on campus.

More rare terms include:

  • Shelter in Place: This term is used when a site may be experiencing a chemical- or weather-induced emergency.
  • Drop, cover and hold: This is used in case of earthquakes.
  • Reverse evacuation: All children are moved indoors. This can happen in case of lightning, a bee swarm or someone potentially harmful in the neighborhood.

If an evacuation or early release is necessary, School Safety notifies parents and works with law enforcement and school staff to conduct these activities in the best way possible.

Every campus has an evacuation and parent/guardian and student reunification plan.