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Fla. mother blames daughter's death on suicide-prevention video, sues school board

Johanna Lowe, 13, committed suicide in 2010 after allegedly starring in a suicide prevention PSA, her mother is now suing the school board. CBS affiliate WKMG

Johanna Lowe, 13, committed suicide in 2010 after allegedly starring in a suicide prevention PSA, her mother is now suing the school board.
CBS affiliate WKMG
(CBS) OVIEDO, Fla. - The mother of a 13-year-old girl who killed herself three years ago after portraying a suicidal teen in a school video on suicide prevention is now suing a central Florida teacher and school board, according to CBS affiliate WKMG.

Johanna Lowe was an eighth grade student at Tuskawilla Middle School in Oviedo, Fla.. Her mother, Ellie Piorkowski, reportedly says her daughter was full of life and that her suicide didn't make sense. She believes Johanna got the idea of killing herself from the suicide prevention PSA video she starred in.

Piorkowski told the station she found out about the video three weeks after Johanna's funeral when her daughter's classmate told her about it.

The video that was shot as part of Johanna's production class in school shows the teen writing a suicide note while sitting in a classroom, then swallowing a bottle of pills.

Piorkowski is now reportedly suing Joseph Fife, a teacher, and the Seminole County School Board because she was never informed her daughter was going to portray a suicide victim in a class project.

Eric Faddis, an attorney representing Piorkowski, told WKMG, "Teaching young 13-year-old kids about suicide, and involving them in a suicide video, any parent who has a kid that would learn about that would be outraged."

The school board released a statement to the station saying they would not comment on the case but it will be "aggressively defended."


  • Iris Carreras

    Iris Carreras covers crime for CBSNews.com

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