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Family of bullied girl to sue school district over suicide

Aug 02, 2017, 09:55:10

The family of a 12-year-old New Jersey girl who killed herself said Tuesday it will sue her school district for not stepping in to address the problem of cyberbullying.

An attorney for the family of Mallory Grossman said he will file a notice of intent to sue the Rockaway Township school district for negligence. The notice is a required precursor to the filing of a lawsuit.

Mallory took her own life in June after months of bullying by several of her classmates, in person and through social media, her mother, Dianne Grossman, said Tuesday.

Attorney Bruce Nagel said some of the messages were "vile and malicious."

"For months she was told she was a loser, she had no friends, and finally she was told, 'Why don't you kill yourself?'" he said.

Dianne Grossman said she and her husband pleaded with school officials, to no avail.

"We feel we followed the school's protocol," she said. "We started low on the totem pole and worked our way up until it finally made its way to the principal. Their words were, 'We'll investigate it, we'll look into it.'"

She added, "I'm going to make the assumption the school did something, but I'm also going to make the assumption, based on where we are today, that they didn't do enough."

Nathanya Simon, an attorney for the school district, said in an email Tuesday that the district "has not seen the written claim(s) and upon receipt will review with legal counsel. We anticipate that we will be able to make a statement soon."

Nagel said he was considering suing the parents of some of the other students identified as the perpetrators of the bullying. He said he wasn't concerned about potentially opening a Pandora's box that could lead to an avalanche of lawsuits.

"That's exactly what we're looking to do in this case," he said. "We want to open a Pandora's box, we want to push against the hornet's nest. We want to end this forever."