Dianne and Seth Grossman

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Parents Of Bullied Girl Who Killed Self Sue New Jersey School District

June 20, 2018 - 8:24 am

ROSELAND, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- The parents of a New Jersey sixth grader who committed suicide after online bullying say the school and the district is to blame.

Dianne and Seth Grossman are suing the Rockaway Board of Education and the Copeland Middle School. They say the school failed to take any significant action despite their repeated complaints about the cyberbullying that they say drove their daughter, Mallory, to take her own life last June.

Mallory Grossman

The 12-year-old was tormented by texts, Instagram posts and messages on Snapchat, the girl's parents said. One of the texts asked, "When are you going to kill yourself?"

"It's almost like Mallory's life was in vain. I'm disappointed that they haven't recognized their role," Dianne Grossman said. "When you bully a child, you bully an entire family. I think children need to understand that words matter."

"This lawsuit should be a huge wake up call. Two words which I constantly say -- accountability and consequence. Without those we're not going to make progress," Seth Grossman said.

The lawsuit claims that the school did little to stop the harassment, even forcing Mallory to hug one of her tormentors. It also alleges the school failed to comply with New Jersey's anti-bullying statute, instead suggesting Mallory eat in a guidance office instead of the lunch room to avoid her tormentors. 

The Rockaway Board of Education has previously called the Grossman's claims "categorically false."

However, the superintendent of schools has announced his resignation in the wake of the controversy.