New Jersey School District Settles Teen Suicide Case for $9.1 Million

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According to the family’s counsel, a New Jersey school district has consented to pay $9.1 million to the family of a girl who committed suicide after being bullied at school.

Diane and Seth Grossman sued Rockaway Township School District in 2018, alleging that Copeland Middle School administrators did not do enough to prevent their daughter’s death despite repeated complaints.

Mallory Grossman, age 12, committed suicide in June 2017 after being tormented in school and cyberbullied by classmates via text and Snapchat messages throughout the school year, according to a lawsuit filed in New Jersey Superior Court.

On Wednesday in court, a settlement was struck between Rockaway Township School District and the plaintiffs. It is the largest anti-bullying settlement in New Jersey history, according to the Grossman family’s counsel, Bruce Nagel.

“This settlement should send a clear message to schools across the nation that bullying is an epidemic and that schools have a duty to protect our children,” Nagel said.

Dianne Grossman said in a statement, “Seth and I are pleased with the settlement, ready to put this chapter behind us and move forward, continuing to speak out against the epidemic that is stealing the future of our children.” “We hope that all schools, (Boards of Education), and administrators will review their current anti-bullying and cyberbullying policies and make the necessary changes to protect all students.”

Since the emergence of social media, the issue of abuse in schools has taken on a new dimension, according to experts.

Nikki Pagano, a licensed clinical social worker in Charlotte, North Carolina, remarked, “Before social media, there may have been an unpleasant interaction at school, but that’s usually where it ends.” “This interaction is now inescapable within the household. Instead of a solitary person making you feel awful, something may be posted online, and your peers may be viewing or ‘liking’ this post.

Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey has taken steps to address student bullying concerns. According to the New Jersey state legislature, he signed “Mallory’s Law” in January 2022, requiring school districts to include specific consequences in anti-bullying policies for students who antagonize or torment a classmate.

Read also: Tragic Fate: Four Women’s Lives Found in a Drainage Ditch Near Atlantic City

Source: CNN, ABC7 NY

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