On June 14, 2017, sixth-grader Mallory Grossman committed suicide after being bullied by classmates at Copeland Middle School in Rockaway Township, N.J.
Some classmates reportedly asked the struggling 12-year-old, “When are you going to kill yourself?”
Court documents reveal that Mallory’s parents had multiple meetings with school officials before her suicide regarding their daughter being bullied. The parents allegedly even met with school officials on the day that Mallory took her own life.
Dianne Grossman described her daughter’s abuse in June of 2018, “We used to say, ‘Go jump in the lake.’ That was a funny thing to say. Now our kids are saying, ‘Go kill yourself.’ We’ve got to recognize that that type of language has to be intolerable.”
Grossman added, “The poor behavior and the poor decisions that these children make, it’s still continuing. These children have not changed.”
Mallory’s parents say that their daughter had her chair constantly kicked while she was in class.
“Putting an end to bullying is not something achieved by individuals operating alone, it is done by a community banding together,” states the anti-bullying website dedicated to Mallory. “We achieve this by unifying students, teachers, kids, and adults alike, against bullying and anyone who seeks to make less of, or cause harm to others.”
The parents allege that school officials advised them not to lodge a formal complaint during the meeting.
Dianne Grossman described Mallory as a “quiet child,” who was a gymnast and a cheerleader who “loved the outdoors.”
This week, the family was awarded $9.1 million settlement from the school district — the largest payout in New Jersey history for a bullying case.
The deceased teen’s family support legislation known as “Mallory’s Law,” which states: “Revises provisions required in school district’s anti-bullying policy; provides for civil liability of parent of minor adjudicated delinquent for cyber-harassment or harassment; and increases certain fines against parents.”
Grossman family attorney Bruce Nagle said, “This settlement is one more step in dealing with this avoidable tragedy and I hope that it sends a clear message to all schools around the country that our children must be protected from the horrors of school bullying.”
Dianne Grossman told NorthJersey.com, “Seth and I are satisfied with the settlement, ready to put this part behind us and move forward, continuing to lend our voice to the epidemic that is stealing our children’s future.”
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