Mallory Grossman lawsuit: The parents of a cyberbully victim allege a school district is responsible for their daughter’s death after failing to take action.
The parents of Mallory Grossman a 12 year old Rockaway Township, New Jersey middle school student have told of their intent to launch a lawsuit against a local school district, after alleging their daughter’s school did nothing to prevent their Mallory’s suicide death as a result of cyberbullying from fellow classmates.
The taunts against the school girl had gone on for months, with Grossman by now receiving a regular slew of derogatory messages on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
The taunts included the girl being describe as a loser, having no friends, including one taunt claimed the Grossman family’s lawyer, ‘Why don’t you kill yourself?’
The taunts weren’t relegated to cyberspace, and after school hours, but by now they had become a daily part of the sixth grader’s retinue, in the school hallway, at the school cafeteria and even in the classroom.
The bullying and taunts, claim the parents in their soon to be filed lawsuit against the school, Copeland Middle School, had increasingly taken a toll on their daughter.
Mallory a once vibrant young cheerleader and gymnast began to complain of constant headaches, stomach pain, while her grades deteriorated with the daughter by now pleading with her parents to stay home from school.
There had to be relief?
After the bullying began in October of last year, Mallory’s parents spoke to her teachers, counselors and school administrators — along with the students’ parents — pleading with them to help put an end to the ugliness. And in turn, school administrators all agreed it had to stop, promising to look into the concerned family’s allegations.
But nothing, it continued.
Then, on June 14, Mallory took her own life. The manner of death was not disclosed.
Told the Grossman’s family lawyer, Bruce Nagel on Tuesday of the family’s intent to sue against Rockaway Township School District and its administrators, ‘for months they ignored pleas to stop this,’ while alleging ‘gross negligence’.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Nagel said the parents oncoming suit would serve to to underscore the ‘epidemic’ of cyberbullying taking place in schools across the nation.
Reiterated the attorney, ‘This tragedy could have been prevented and this lawsuit should be a wake-up call to every school in every hamlet of our great country that cyber-bullying is going on every day and that the schools must immediately take step to stop this and protect every student in the school’.
While schools have always struggled to combat bullying on school grounds, the rise of the internet and smartphones have served to make it omnipresent, at school and at home and anywhere else, serving to multiply the humiliation of the intended victim.
One recent study surveying 5,600 children nationwide between the ages of 12 to 17 found that 34 percent had experienced cyberbullying in their lifetimes.
Meanwhile, the number of adolescent suicides has risen dramatically in recent decades, according to a 2016 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study reports the washingtonpost found that bullying has a ‘clear relationship’ with committing or thinking of committing suicide. Moreover, the study found that excessive Internet use was ‘strongly associated with higher levels of depression‘ and thoughts or attempts to commit suicide.
A report via NJ.com told the Grossman family also considering to pursue legal action against the parents of the three or four girls who they say bullied Mallory.
According to Mallory’s mother, Dianne Grossman a plea to one of the parents of her daughters abusers merited the response that it was ‘just a big joke’ and not to worry. But the texts and taunting from the parent’s daughter continued nevertheless.
So all consuming had the taunts against their daughter become, Mallory’s parents, Dianne and Seth Grossman urged administrators to file a mandatory Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) Report, only to find out that the school never followed through told the mother during Tuesday’s press conference. Why wasn’t necessarily understood.
Grossman’s family also announced plans to start the nonprofit Mals Army, which will aim to educate others about the harms of bullying, and shine a light on a nationwide epidemic that will force educators, administrators, parents and their communities to honestly regard…. instead of denying and insisting, ‘it’s just a joke….’