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Article published December 12, 2012
Parents drop suit against S.R. schools
PITTSBURGH — The parents of a girl who committed suicide nearly two years ago have dropped their lawsuit against the Slippery Rock School District. Shane and Sandy Maxwell of Muddy Creek Township withdrew their federal suit Tuesday without prejudice, which means they can file another suit with the same claim. The Maxwell’s attorney, Barbara Ochs of Evans, Garvey, Lackey and Ochs in Sharon, declined to comment. In a correspondence with the district’s attorney, Ochs said the Maxwells, while still believing in their case, told her to discontinue the lawsuit. “The defendant’s initial disclosures and other new information that has been recently revealed to Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell have convinced them that pursuit of this lawsuit may only magnify the consequences of Tiffani’s tragic death without accomplishing a purpose beneficial to anyone,” Ochs wrote. The suit alleged that Tiffani was confronted by an administrator who accused her of drug use. Despite a search not finding any drugs, school officials suspended her. The lawsuit said Tiffani was distraught from the accusation and said she was concerned that the suspension would prevent her from completing required school work due to a previous absence for medical reasons. On Jan. 15, 2011, Tiffani found a gun at home and fatally shot herself. The Maxwells were suing for wrongful death, unreasonable search and seizure, assault, battery, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment and emotional distress.