Lawsuit Alleges School Officials Made 12-Year-Old Girl Who Killed Herself to Hug Bullies
The parents of a 12-year-old girl who killed herself have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Rockaway Township Board of Education for failing to protect her from bullies.
According to the lawsuit, Mallory Grossman was teased excessively for weeks before she committed suicide on June 14, 2017. Grossman’s bullies allegedly texted her cruel messages, like “When are you going to kill yourself?” and “You have no friends.”
The girl’s mother, Dianne Grossman, knew that she was being taunted and called the school several times to inform them about the bullying. However, they didn’t do enough to stop it. Instead of disciplining the bullies, they allegedly told Mallory to eat lunch in the guidance counselor’s office and even forced to hug one of her bullies.
Dianne went with her daughter to talk to her principal Alfonso Gonnella one last time about the bullying. During the meeting, the principal gave Mallory a poker chip and told her to inscribe her initials on the token and asked her, “Are you all in?”
“His bright solution to nine months of bullying is a poker chip? And to have her write her initials and date it and to ask her if she’s all in? And hours later she goes home and dies?” Dianne said.
Mallory killed herself later that day. Her father, Seth Grossman, found her minutes after.
Dianne said she want schools to know just how serious her daughter’s bullying was and that she’s gone forever.
“Our family is forever changed because they chose not to put systems in place, they chose not to protect her, so I want other school systems to learn from this and to start making immediate changes within their buildings.”
The family’s lawyer Bruce Nagel said, “We are hopeful that the filing of this lawsuit will bring national awareness to the epidemic of cyber-bullying and that we do not have to attend any more funerals of students who have been the victims.’’
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a teen committed suicide because of bullying. In November 2017, 13-year-old Rosalie Avila hung herself in her bedroom after she was tormented constantly by her classmates for months. They allegedly called her mean names like “whore” and “slut” and told her she had sexually transmitted diseases.
In her suicide note, she said sorry to her parents for being ugly.
Her family announced last December that they plan to file a lawsuit.
If you believe a loved one has wrongfully died, it may be in your best interest to reach out to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. today to set up your free consultation.