Parents sue school, claim bullying led to daughter’s suicide

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ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP -

Parents of a 12-year-old Morris County girl say that her school’s lack of action led to her suicide.

Mallory Grossman’s parents filed a lawsuit against the school and their community this week and claim that the Rockaway School District let their daughter down.

“We’re here today to announce the filing of a lawsuit one year after the death of Mallory Grossman,” said family attorney Bruce Nagel.

The lawsuit describes bullying Mallory endured by four fellow sixth-graders at Copeland Middle School.

RELATED: Sixth-grader who died by suicide lives on in anti-bullying efforts
RELATED: Rockaway superintendent to resign in wake of student’s suicide
RELATED: Family of bullied Morris County girl to sue school district over suicide

“Instead of removing Mallory from choir class, I wanted the girls that were tapping her chair every other day and calling her a bitch, I wanted those children removed from class. Not Mallory,” Dianne Grossman says.

The lawsuit alleges that the bullies sent Mallory texts and Snapchat photos with messages like "You have no friends," "Fat," "Jiggly,” “Poor Mal” and “When are you going to kill yourself?” The Grossmans say that Mallory told them to stop, but they didn't.

“When these facts were brought to the attention to the school district and the school administrators, those facts were terribly ignored,” Nagel says.

The lawsuit also says school officials suggested Mallory eat lunch in a guidance office instead of the lunchroom to avoid her harassers. She was also forced to hug one of the alleged harassers in an apparent attempt at reconciliation.

The Grossmans say that had the school district taken swift and effective action against the bullying, Mallory would still be alive.

"I want them to care less about test scores and care about the emotional intelligence that our children are experiencing,” Dianne Grossman says.

The family attorney says that they have not brought a lawsuit against the four families whose children allegedly bullied Mallory. But he says that they have been put on notice for possible legal action.

It is the first lawsuit filed in response to a cyberbullying suicide in New Jersey.

News 12 New Jersey reached out to the Rockaway Township School District for comment but has not heard back.

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