The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

October 7, 2012

Lawsuit: Strip search led to student’s suicide

SLIPPERY ROCK — The parents of a Slippery Rock High School student who committed suicide in 2011 are suing school officials for what they claim was an illegal strip search of their daughter that left her so distraught she took her own life.

Shane A. and Sandy D. Maxwell of Portersville, parents of Tiffani Z. Maxwell, 16, filed the federal lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh.

The defendants named in the case are: Slippery Rock Area School District; Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Nogay; Kristie Shulsky, high school principal; John Daniel Szolek, assistant high school principal; and Joan Timko, high school nurse.

The lawsuit alleges Tiffani was wrongly strip-searched by school staff after another student reported seeing her with drugs on the school bus on Jan. 14.

No drugs were found and Mrs. Maxwell said she drove her daughter to school that day, according to the lawsuit. Tiffani was suspended over the drug allegations and her parents believe she shot herself the next day because she feared she’d be held back a year.

“Tiffani was so distraught ... she obtained a gun in her home, shot herself at the base of the skull and died instantly,” according to the lawsuit.

Mrs. Maxwell was home at the time and found her daughter’s body.

Nogay issued a statement on behalf of the district, saying they hadn’t seen the lawsuit but were “confident that the allegations and claims lack any basis in fact or law.”

The Maxwells did not return a message seeking further comment.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014

  • Southwest mulls how to adopt study points

    Even though some members of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department had little respect for a study of the department completed by a consultant, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. pledged to implement as many of the study’s recommendations as he could.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beader plans to resign, just not yet

    Democratic Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader acknowledges that he intends to resign, but said nothing will happen until after he meets privately with the county’s judges next Thursday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Wildlife fund for park Aiding Buhl Farm animals

    Some of Steven Jubelirer’s fondest memories of his mother, Natalie, was when they would walk together in Buhl Farm park, Hermitage.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • News briefs from April 15, 2014

    Man charged with attack on his wife in Walmart

    Woman arrested for stabbing man with knife

    3 injured in pickup-motorcycle crash

    April 15, 2014

  • Judge orders Marin removed from ballot

    Saying the testimony of Congressional candidate Mel Marin of Sharon wasn’t credible, the Commonwealth Court has ordered Marin’s name removed from the Democratic Party’s ballot for one of area’s congressional seats in the May primary because Marin now has less than the required 1,000 valid signatures.

    April 15, 2014

  • Fire ruled accident, but cause unknown

    The fire in Greenville-Reynolds Industrial Park was most likely started by workers who were gutting the building, according to a deputy fire marshal.

    April 15, 2014

  • Mertz Tower fire Mertz tenant charged with arson

    A tenant who was being evicted from her apartment because of bizarre behavior is accused of setting her sofa ablaze at Wade D. Mertz Towers in Sharpsville.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tickled reflexology and pedicure salon Crafting a new downtown

    We’ll know better five years from now what lasting impact public interest in the arts and boutique shopping had in efforts to revitalize downtown Sharon with small businesses.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Have van, need drivers to serve elderly

    April 14, 2014

  • Jim Raykie column photo Technology aside, constant has been serving community

    Wow ... I was thinking about The Herald’s 150th birthday during the weekend, and realized that I’m getting old – I’ve been here for more than a quarter of that century and a half.

     

     

     

     

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Herald, 1941 Herald marks 150th year

    The Herald today, April 14, celebrates 150 years of serving area readers and advertisers.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • Attorneys preparing work for murder trial

    Emerging from his chambers after about two hours of meeting with attorneys in Ralph L. Young’s murder case, Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher J. St. John thanked spectators for their patience in waiting for the public portion of the hearing.

    April 13, 2014

  • Funds tapped for child advocacy centers

    Rooms fashioned to give child abuse victims a non-threatening place to tell their stories now have steady funding, at the suggestion of a task force created in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

    April 13, 2014

  • $35M upgrade planned for tube plant

    Wheatland Tube Co.’s Council Avenue plant in Wheatland is going to get a $35 million upgrade, the company announced Saturday morning.

    April 13, 2014