Students at a California high school reportedly found their teacher hanging from the classroom ceiling on Monday morning in what was described as a suicide.
According to The Orange County Register, the 31-year-old woman was discovered in an El Dorado High School classroom by students and faculty at around 8:30 a.m.
Police said the door had been locked when class was scheduled to begin on Monday, so students asked another teacher to unlock the door. Reports said that the teacher was still alive when she was found, and that the students attempted to take her down.
“When police and fire arrived, the teacher was in cardiac arrest,” police Lt. Eric Pointe said. “After several minutes, she was declared deceased at the scene.”
Students identified the teacher as a photography instructor on social media. However, Raw Story has declined to name the victim until her family is notified.
School officials assembled all of the students in the gymnasium, where they were told that the teacher had taken her own life. Crisis counselors were being deployed to assist teachers and staff. Most classes were expected to go on as scheduled, but officials said that students would be allowed to go home early.
“If you take into account how everyone reacted by crying and being upset you’ll see how everyone was completely surprised that it was her,” 16-year-old student Leo Amaya told The Orange County Register. “She gave no signs of being depressed or sad.”
Students said that the teacher said that her father had also taken his own life, and that she often spoke out against suicide.