According to her parents, Mallory Grossman was bullied at school by classmates through text messages, Snapchat messages, and Instagram posts. Unfortunately, she could not handle it and she committed suicide on June 21, 2017. A year later, Grossman’s parents have decided to sue the Board of Education together with the township itself. Allegedly, Copeland Middle School never took significant action despite the parents’ repeated complaints.
Messages of the lawsuit were left for Superintendent Greg McGann together with the school district’s offices but were not returned immediately. Attorney John Laciofano of Rockaway’s township told the NJ Advance Media that a complaint had not yet been served to them. Laciofano pointed out that the matter would be passed on to Rockaway’s insurance carrier.
Attorney Bruce Nagel of Nagel Rice is representing Grossman’s parents, Dianne and Seth Grossman. He is famous for securing huge settlements and jury awards that amount to millions of dollars. According to him, this lawsuit was the first to be filed in New Jersey in relations to cyber-bullying suicide. Nagel said that they have not yet sued the families of the children who bullied Mallory. However, they have been notified of the possibility of a legal action. Nagel said that they still don’t know the status of the investigation despite it being investigated by the prosecutor’s office.
The Grossman family claims that the school failed to adhere to the state’s anti-bullying statute. They claim that the school officials suggested Mallory should avoid her bullies by having lunch in a guidance room instead of the lunchroom. In an attempt at reconciliation, she was then forced to hug her harassers.
Since the tragic loss of her daughter, Dianne Grossman has been an anti-bullying advocate through the Mallory’s Army group. She has expressed how impossible it has been to recover from Mallory’s death but is grateful for the community’s support.
Following the controversies surrounding Mallory’s death, McGann announced he would resign on 1st July. At some point, the Grossmans’ claims were called categorically false by the township’s Board of Education.
In the lawsuit, the complaints want the court to determine punitive damages and an unspecified compensatory.