Gwinnett County

Metro Atlanta teacher drowns while trying to save 9-year-old daughter

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A metro Atlanta teacher and mother of four drowned while saving her daughter on Labor Day, family members say.

Sarah Jackson taught at Duluth Middle School.

The Duluth Middle School family is grieving the tragic and sudden loss of one of our wonderful teachers, Ms. Sarah...

Posted by Duluth Middle School on Thursday, September 10, 2020

Family members said she was at a lake in Lawrenceville when her 9-year-old went underwater. Jackson went in after her daughter and went under herself.

People nearby were able to pull her daughter to safety and perform CPR. Good Samaritans also pulled Jackson out of the water and performed CPR until the ambulance arrived, but she later died at the hospital.

“Sarah’s oldest child remained in the room sobbing as she gave me a description of the events that were unfolding before her eyes,” her brother, James Jackson, wrote on a GoFundme set up for the family. “The doctors told her that there was nothing more they could do.”


James Jackson said that tragically, this would not have happened if his sister hadn’t been robbed by three masked gunman in Atlanta the day before.

James Jackson said that three men held her up in her car and took her purse and cellphone.

Sarah Jackson had planned to take her family to Savannah for Labor Day but without her credit cards, cash or identification to travel with, she canceled the trip.

James Jackson said his sister had a rough childhood and did everything she could to provide for her daughters, who are 9, 11, 13 and 20 despite having financial struggles herself.

In 2013, Sarah Jackson gave a speech during her graduation from Georgia Gwinnett College in which she talked about being a homeless single mother while trying to complete her degree.

Nonprofit Family Promise also posted about Sarah Jackson’s death, writing that she served on the Guest Advisory Panel and had been a board member. The organization helps homeless and low-income families achieve independence.

“All have been touched by her influence and wisdom in helping shape national policy and direction,” the nonprofit wrote. “Because of her, we are better able to serve children and their families.”

The GoFundMe will go to help her daughters.