Mallory Grossman was just 12 years old when the New Jersey sixth grader killed herself in June. Now her parents are suing her school district, alleging Mallory's cyberbullying at the hands of her classmates at Copeland Middle School pushed her to take her own life—and that the school didn't do enough to prevent it. "For months there were texts, Snapchat, and Instagram—she was told she was a loser, she had no friends. She was even told, ‘Why don't you kill yourself,'" the lawyer for the Grossmans says, per NBC News. But school administrators "ignored months of pleas" from her family to do something, the lawyer says, despite the fact that after the harassment started in October, Mallory started getting chronic headaches and stomachaches and her grades went down.
Grossman's mother says the family spoke to teachers, guidance counselors, the vice principal, and the principal, and that while she was told the school was investigating, she felt her concerns were dismissed. When nothing changed, she even approached the parent of one of the alleged bullies (the family has identified three or four students, though not publicly, and their lawyer says they are considering taking action against their families as well). "I can confidently say I spoke to one of the parents the night before Mallory—before this," Grossman's mother says. "And I can tell you that the mother dismissed it, said it was just a big joke, and that I really shouldn’t worry about it." During the family's press conference Monday, their lawyer said a cellphone can be "a lethal weapon" in the hands of the wrong child, NJ 101.5 reports. (Read more cyberbullying stories.)