October 05, 2017
The parents of a 12-year-old girl whose tragic suicide rocked a New Jersey community in June are out to make an example of their daughter.
Dianne and Seth Grossman appeared on the "Megyn Kelly Today" show Thursday morning with their attorney, Bruce Nabel, to share the story of 12-year-old Mallory. Their daughter, who was in sixth grade at the time of her death, committed suicide following months of bullying from a small group of girls last year, they said.
Dianne Grossman told Kelly that the bullying started in small ways at school, such as exclusion and humiliation.
"'You can't sit with us.' I think Mallory wanted to be a part of that crowd," she said. "They would do things to embarrass her."
In August, Nabel said at a press conference that the students also bullied Mallory through text messages and posts on Instagram and Snapchat, telling her that she had no friends, calling her "a loser," and saying "why don't you kill yourself."
"This little device can be a lethal weapon in the wrong hands," Nabel said on Kelly's show, holding up an iPhone. "It's got to stop. School administrators have to do something about it and they're not. Hopefully, this case will shed light on the problem and change it."
The Grossmans told Kelly that they contacted the district numerous times about the bullying. Not enough was done, they said.
"Not a lot came out of it," Seth Grossman said of the district's response. "They just seemed to sweep it under the rug. They didn't take it very seriously."
At one point, they said, the school arranged a meeting between Mallory and the alleged bullies. They were told to "hug it out," Dianne Grossman said.
The students then called out Mallory for being a tattle-tale, she said.
Mallory, who was in sixth grade, went into the bathroom to wash up her face. The girls followed her in and said, "if you do that again, we're going to get you. It just made it worse," Grossman said.
Grossman told Kelly that girls who bullied their daughter should be held accountable and "understand the magnitude of what it is that they did."
In a statement on Aug. 24, the Rockaway Township Board of Education and district administrators said allegations that the district "ignored the Grossman family and failed to address bullying in general" are categorically false.
The district said it could not discuss the case publically due to an ongoing investigation by the Morris County Prosecutor's Office.
"In our judgment, the public has heard only one side of the story and we recognize public comment could ease parental concerns," the statement read. "As this case is formally adjudicated, the District and its legal counsel are confident the public will recognize and appreciate its thoughtful and purposeful actions. Further, our counsel believes the actions of others in this case will also be viewed quite differently from that which is presently portrayed."