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Teacher Found Hanging In Classroom Taught A Unit On Suicide And Depression

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The 31-year-old teacher who hanged herself in a Placentia high school classroom earlier this week had previously taught a class unit on suicide and depression.Jillian Jacobson, a photography teacher at El Dorado High School, experienced a similarly tragic death in her family before she took her own life. Her father, Richard Prisbrey, committed suicide at the age of 55 in 2011. He had gone missing, and was found in his car in the desert with a bullet wound to his head, according to AP. Jacobson openly talked about her father's death to her students, and even did a week-long session on depression. She encouraged students to get help if they ever felt sad, and told them that they should never resort to suicide.

When students arrived for their first period class around 8:40 a.m. on Monday, they found that the classroom door was locked. After asking another teacher to unlock the door, they discovered Jacobson hanging from the ceiling. Paramedics arrived and tried to revive Jacobson, but she was declared dead at the scene.

“It’s sad for the students and fellow teachers who witnessed that,” Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi told the L.A. Times.

Even though Jacobson didn't leave a suicide note, authorities believe she had taken her own life. However, they do not know the motive behind her suicide and are interviewing her family to gain more insight. Authorities have scheduled an autopsy for her this week.

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Jacobson was well-liked by her students and colleagues, and they described her as someone who seemed happy, according to the OC Register. Records showed that she lived in Anaheim with her 34-year-old husband.

Grief counselors have been speaking to students about Jacobson's death. “Everyone is still crying,” freshman Madelyn Pippin, one of Jacobson’s students, told the OC Register. “It’s just so sad walking past her door, knowing what happened inside.”

Students tweeted out photos of themselves with Jacobson, sending their condolences:

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If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.