Jillian Jacobson, California Teacher, Commits Suicide in Classroom

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Jillian Jacobson, a well liked photography teacher in Southern California, committed suicide in her classroom last week. Her body was discovered by students.

According to a report from KCRA.com, students arrived at the El Dorado High School classroom of Jillian Jacobson last Monday to find the door locked. Thinking their teacher was simply running a bit late, they got the teacher in the classroom next door to let them in. That's when they discovered Jillian Jacobson, who was 31, hanging from the ceiling.

Two teachers cut her down and tried reviving Jacobson with CPR, as they awaited the arrival of paramedics. It was too late to save her, however.

Students were dismissed for the day at 11 AM, and crisis counselors were made available on to all students and faculty on campus, according to Assistant Superintendent Kevin Lee, of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School Districts. A crisis intervention team planned to remain on campus for the remainder of the week.

Jillian Jacobson had been employed by El Dorado High School since 2008. She had a bachelor's degree in ceramics and glass, and art education and a master's degree in educational leadership.

On Jacobson's profile page at El Dorado High School's website, Jacobson smiles in a photo near the words, "Today is a great day to take a picture!"

Many of the students at El Dorado High School paid tribute to Jillian Jacobson on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Suicide can be a cruel side effect of mental illness. Sadly, no one was able to help Jillian Jacobson with whatever tormented her to the point of taking her life. Hopefully her students will come to understand more about mental illness as a result of their teacher's suicide. Perhaps if even one reaches out for help in the future, this teacher's death won't have been in vain.

Comedian and actor Robin Williams committed suicide last summer. His daughter, Zelda Williams, recently spoke out for the first time since her dad's death. She made it clear that it does no good to point fingers or ask why, because mental illness is a disease that leaves many questions unanswered.

Hopefully the students at El Dorado High School will come to terms with Jillian Jacobson's death without losing too much of themselves in the process.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.