KENILWORTH, NJ - Mallory Rose Grossman, a vivacious and charismatic girl from Rockaway, New Jersey, was as her mother Dianne Grossman described her, “the everyday all-American girl.” Tragically, having been the target by a small group of girls who made her feel invisible and unimportant at Copeland Middle School located in Rockaway, took her own life last June at the very young age of 12.
These “mean girls” teased her regularly at school. In June, they decided to take their hate to social media using the online platform Snapchat. Even though Mallory wasn't on Snapchat, these hurtful young women screenshot images to text Mallory. They wanted to make sure she saw this inconceivable hate online. They would write things as, "You have no friends", and "poor Mal." The day before Mallory took her own life, in a crowded lunchroom in front of Mallory's peers, one girl said "when are you going to kill yourself".
Mallory was the youngest of four children. She loved the outdoors, education, making crafts, gymnastics, and was an avid cheerleader. The Grossmans elaborated on their story. “After a three-hour meeting with the guidance counselor and principal who are still employed by the Rockaway Township School System, the principal gave Mallory a poker chip. Mallory was asked her if she was "all in" using a sports mantra putting the responsibility of the hate back on Mallory's shoulders. Mallory came home and ended her own life hours later.” The Grossmans send a very poignant message. “Mallory and our family are victims of a broken system. If what happened to Mallory, can happen to anyone. We want readers to know suicide is a leading cause of death for teens and tweens. We want parents to understand the severity of bullying. Bullying is not a "rite of passage" it inflicts terrible pain on victims. Invisible wounds.”
Following this horrific tragedy, her parents Dianne and Seth Grossman, started the 501.C(3) charitable foundation Mallory’s Army. The mission of Mallory’s Army is to empower kids to be amazing people, education for parents, and enrichment for schools and enhance communities. They have a program for parents on their YouTube channel "The Parent Project.” This program not only addresses bullying but has open discussion with people in the community about hard topics in a documentary-style format. Dianne stated, “Our life is about resilience. Teaching everyone bad things happen to good people, it is what you do moving forward that defines you. If we can inspire this within kids, parents and communities, maybe we can save the other "Mallory's" out there. The Grossmans travel all over New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Michigan, California, and Georgia, sharing their story.
The link is live April 17-26 that you can stream on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mallory using any electronic device like laptop or Smart TV. The documentary is a two day rental because the Grossmans wanted to give parents the opportunity to watch it before sharing with their children. Dianne articulated “It's important for people to understand the film isn't all about Mallory's death. But more her life. Is it sad? Yes of course, but the overall theme of the film is while there is pain, we can also be resilient. Isn't that what we are doing now?? Having to have hope and faith that our lives will return to normal? We decided to release the film to offer hope in darkness. We feel the film is a great teaching tool. However, don't just take our word for it. You must watch it for yourself.
The $22 for the film covers all costs associated with releasing the documentary. This includes musical rights to Sony. Mallory's birthday is April 22, and she would be 15. The Grossmans wanted to find a way to honor her birthday. “It's always a very painful time for us personally. This is our way to help fundraise for the future and honor her memory.”