A New Jersey girl who was an A-and-B student and an active member of the cheerleading squad committed suicide due to relentless cyberbullying, her parents said. The girl was only 12-years-old. The family announced Tuesday that they intend to sue the local school district for failing to stop the harassment, and are considering taking action against the bullies’ parents.
Mallory Grossman was a student at Copeland Middle School when she killed herself in June, according to a local Fox station. The family plans to sue Rockaway Township School District as well as all administrators who ignored the family’s pleas for help, said their attorney Bruce Nagel.
The cyberbullying started in October 2016 that took place across social media, including Snapchat, Instagram and text messaging. Three to four to unnamed classmates stated that she was a loser and had no friends, according to Nagel and the girl’s mother, Dianne Grossman.
Some of the Snapchats were taken at school. At one point, one of the cyberbullies told Mallory Grossman, “why don’t you kill yourself?” The family also said that their daughter was harassed and excluded at school.
“Constant dirty looks … it does change the makeup of who you are,” Dianne Grossman said. “To Mallory, it was her world, and it was horrible.”
After the parents learned of the bullying, they immediately contacted the school, eventually informing the principal. But the family felt that their pleas fell on deaf ears.
“There was a pattern of the school dismissing my concerns,” Dianne Grossman said. “I’m going to make the assumption that, based on where we are today, they didn’t do enough.”
The parents of one of the bullies was contacted. But the night before Mallory took her life, that bully told their family that it was all a “big joke.”
“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,” said Nagel in a statement.
If you know of someone who is the victim of cyberbullying is considering suicide, contact the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). In a related story, a girl used cyberbullying to influence a friend’s death.