ROSELAND, N.J. -- In New Jersey, the parents of a 12-year-old girl who killed herself claim she was bullied online for months and the school district did nothing to stop it. Now, they plan to sue.
"She's just your average American little girl -- she's what you hope your children will grow up to be, that's who Mallory is," said Diane Grossman, whose 12-year-old daughter, Mallory, killed herself in June.
Six weeks after her daughter's suicide, Grossman made it clear who she held responsible for her daughters death -- the school.
"There was a pattern, a regular history pattern of who the school district dismissing my concerns," Grossman said.
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Mallory, a gymnast and a cheerleader, killed herself one week before finishing sixth grade after months and months of allegedly relentless bullying.
Grossman said her daughter was bullied in person, in texts and on Snapchat and Instagram by classmates at Copeland Middle School. She characterized the messages as nasty and mean.
"In the beginning, it was just teasing, it was name-calling, it was exclusion was an important part. 'You can't sit here ... you're not welcome at this table,'" Grossman said.
Grossman said she tried to talk with other kids' parents, but her concerns were dismissed. She also complained to administrators at the middle school about the alleged cyberbullying hours before her daughter died.
In New Jersey alone, 11 cases have been filed against school districts for bullying. Ten of them settled over the last eight years, according to Public Justice.
She hopes "to set accountability" with this lawsuit. "So maybe teachers and administrators will think twice before sweep things under the rug."
Grossman said officials still have not filed any harassment, intimidation or bullying reports, known as HIB reports, with the state over any of the incidents in which her daughter was bullied.
The school declined to comment on what is still an ongoing investigation. But they said their own self-assessment of bullying "has met and exceeded expectations."
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