PORTERSVILLE (KDKA) — Last year, a 16-year-old girl fatally shot herself after she was suspended from school. Now, her parents are blaming school officials for her death in a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit against the Slippery Rock School District points an accusing finger.

Shane and Sandy Maxwell, of Portersville, claim their daughter, Tiffany, shot and killed herself after school officials subjected her to a strip search and then a suspension back in January of 2011.

The lawsuit says school officials based their actions on another student or students who claimed they saw Tiffany with drugs on the school bus, ignoring the fact that the 16-year-old was driven to school by her mother that day.

Dr. Kathleen Nogay, the superintendent of schools, issued a statement.

“The District has not yet received a copy of the lawsuit which has been filed; however, based on what previously has been provided to the District, the District and its employees are confident that the allegations and claims lack any basis in fact or law.”

The lawsuit was filed Monday. The Maxwells are suing the school district, superintendent, principal, assistant principal and school nurse.

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