Family of cyber-bullied NJ girl who killed herself to sue school district for negligence
KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Thinkstock(ROCKAWAY, N.J.) — The family of a New Jersey girl who killed herself in June after what they said was “months of relentless” cyberbullying announced plans to sue their school district for negligence, alleging it failed to prevent the abuse, according to their attorneys.
Mallory Grossman, 12, took her own life after she was bombarded with bullying messages via Snapchat and texts, family attorney Bruce Nagel said in a Monday press release. Her parents “repeatedly” asked the principal “and others” at Copeland Middle School in Rockaway, New Jersey to intervene, but “they took no steps to do so,” Nagel said.
At a Tuesday press conference, the girl’s mother Dianne Grossman said the school never filed mandatory bullying reports, even though she says she requested them to file them “countless” times.
“New Jersey has some of the strongest laws around HIB [Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying], and the Rockaway Township schools never filed one report, to this day, even still, a report has not been filed,” Dianne Grossman said today.
She added that she has heard from “several parents” that the girls who bullied her daughter were “mean,” “malicious” and “nasty.”
When asked by reporters whether she thinks other students have experienced similar situations, she replied, “I know it is. I know it’s happening.”
A notice of intent will be filed in the coming days, Dianne Grossman said. Then, the family will file a lawsuit against the Rockaway Township School District and potentially against the families of the girls involved in the bullying, she added.
Nagel said the lawsuit should shed light on the prevalence of cyberbullying among students, calling Grossman’s death an “avoidable tragedy.”
“This tragedy could have been prevented and this lawsuit should be a wakeup 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 [steps] to stop this and protect every student in the school,” Nagel said.
The office of Rockaway Township School District Superintendent Dr. Greg McGann hung up on ABC News during a request for comment.
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