NJ School District to pay $9.1M to the family of bullied 12-year-old girl who committed suicide

The Rockaway Township School District in New Jersey must pay a $9.1 million settlement to the family of Mallory Grossman, a 12-year-old girl who died by suicide in 2017.


This article discusses suicide. This story discusses suicide.

A New Jersey school district has to pay a 9.1 million dollars settlement for the family of Mallory Grossman. She was a 12-year old middle school student, who committed suicide in 2017, after suffering from bullying by her peers.

Dianne Grossman and Seth Grossman, in 2018, filed a 30-page lawsuit for wrongful death against Rockaway Township and its school board, alleging that, despite “numerous communication” with Copeland middle school officials regarding the bullying Mallory was subjected to by other students, administrators failed take any appropriate action.

Bruce Nagel, attorney for the Grossman family, said that the lawsuit “started the long-overdue national debate” on bullying and teen suicidal behavior. He also told Fox News Digital that he hoped the settlement would “send a strong message to schools across the country,” that it was “time to prevent bullying and student suicide.”



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The Rockaway Township school district in New Jersey has to pay $9.1 million in settlement money to the family Mallory Grossman. Mallory Grossman was a 12-year old middle-school student who committed suicide in 2017 following months of bullying.

In 2018, following the news of Mallory’s death, Dr. Greg McGann, Superintendent of Rockaway Township School district, stepped down.

Since 2017, youth suicide attempts continue to increase. The coronavirus outbreak made things worse, as schools had to be closed and children were forced to learn online. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 5,568 young people aged between 5 and 24 years old committed suicide during the pandemic. This was more than expected if the pandemic had not happened.



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In the years following the pandemic the disturbing trend seems to have continued. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this year that there was a nearly 60 percent increase in teenage girls who considered suicide from 2001-2021.

Dianne Grossman and Seth Grossman sued Rockaway Township in 2018 for wrongful death, alleging that the administrators had failed to take action prior to Mallory Grossman’s demise.

Mallory was bullied not only in Copeland Middle School but also on her phone and other social media apps like Snapchat.

According to the lawsuit, bullies told Mallory “You have no friend” and asked her “When are going to you kill yourself?”



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According to the lawsuit, the day before Mallory’s death, a student told her as she approached a table in the cafeteria: “You can’t sit here. You have no friends.”

Dianne Grossman told Fox News in 2019, that the day before her daughter took her life, her daughter had come downstairs crying from her bedroom, with her cellphone in her hand. She showed her parents Snapchat videos. Mallory was recorded by other girls on Snapchat. They captioned their videos “You have no friend” and “When will you kill yourself?”

(Mallory’s Army/Facebook).

She was discovered hanging in her bedroom the next day.

After five years of litigation, the Grossmans and defendants have reached a settlement. Nagel says it is the largest settlement in the history of bullying cases in the United States. Fox News Digital did not receive a response from the Rockaway Township school district or its leadership.

Nagel stated, “I believe schools will take bullying much more seriously.”




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Their attorney said that the Grossmans spent five years trying educate the public about bullying, which they referred to as an “epidemic” through “Mallory’s Army”, their nonprofit. The settlement will allow them to continue this work.

Her mother told Fox News that Mallory enjoyed cheerleading, gymnastics and playing with two dogs, as well as her older sister.

Mallory Grossman’s mom told Fox News that she loved cheerleading, gymnastics and playing with her two dogs.

“Mallory truly was the all-American girl.” She was a sports fanatic. She loved the outdoors. Dianne Grossman, in 2019, said that she loved to make crafts by hand. I remember her repurposing blue jeans and cutting the seams into pocketbooks to give as gifts to friends.

Dianne Grossman said Mallory, too, was “overly sensitive.” “When she told about these things, i thought that it was just children being kids. “I dismissed it as her being oversensitive,” she said.




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According to the American Psychological Association, parents who believe their child has been bullied are encouraged to have an open-ended conversation about bullying in order to learn more about what’s happening at school. According to the APA, teachers and administrators should alert parents about any bullying that is occurring at school.

Parents should also establish boundaries when it comes to technology and social media applications, “report any threatening messages” to the police, and “document all text messages, emails or posts on websites.” According to the APA, children who receive counseling and psychological help can develop resilience against bullying.

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