Parents Sue School After 12-Year-Old Daughter Commits Suicide Over Bullying

Mallory Grossman
ABC News

When tragedy strikes, it's only natural to wonder if more could've been done to prevent it. Dianne and Seth Grossman are still trying to pick up the pieces after their daughter, Mallory Grossman, took her own life on June 14. And as they continue to mourn their child, these parents are suing their 12-year-old daughter's school, which they said did nothing to stop the bullying Mallory endured that led to her suicide.


"I wasn't with her eight hours a day -- I wasn't, they were," Dianne Grossman asserts about Mallory's school during her Nightline interview. "I was sending them messages saying these girls are torturing her at school, she's uncomfortable, she doesn't feel safe. And they were like, 'We'll look into it.'"

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The Grossmans tell Nightline Mallory's school did nothing to help prevent the bullying their once fun-loving tween endured from girls that began last October in Copeland Middle School and continued on social media.

Mallory Grossman
Mallory's Army/Facebook

After repeatedly complaining to the school for months about the in-person bullying and cyberbullying, Mallory's parents reportedly took additional steps to ensure their child's safety -- like trying to transfer Mallory to a different school, and speaking to the bullies' parents -- that ultimately led to a face-to-face meeting at the New Jersey middle school, which Dianne and Seth say solved nothing. 

"They only thing that [school officials] said was, 'We're investigating it, we'll look into it, I know your frustration,'" Mallory's mom tells Nightline. "And Mallory left [the meeting] feeling so depleted. She just said, 'You just made it worse.' She's like, 'You don't know these girls. You just made it worse.'"

Sadly, Mallory took her own life just hours after the meeting.

More from CafeMom: 11 Long-Term Effects of Childhood Bullying

Since their daughter's untimely passing, Dianne and Seth want answers -- and are suing the Rockaway Township school district for accountability they say was lacking to prevent the harassment Mallory endured.

"The goal of this case is to give a wake-up call to every school in every town throughout this country," Bruce Nagel, the Grossman family attorney, tells Nightline. "They need to know that cyberbullying is an epidemic, and we need to stop this."

"When there is a repeat complaint, pretty regularly, I think the [school] should have said, 'You know what, let's take a stronger look at this and really see what is going on,'" Dianne Grossman adds.

As it stands, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among US teens, which is a somber reminder of just how serious this issue is. And while discussions continue to sprout up on whether or not a school should be held responsible for any harassment and bullying that occurs within -- and its consequences -- this tragedy should inspire us all to teach our children to be kinder, more loving, and less hurtful, both in words and actions.

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