Cyberbullying may have led a 12-year-old New Jersey cheerleader to take her own life.
According to Daily Mail, Dianne Grossman told Copeland Middle School administrators that her daughter, Mallory Grossman, was being bullied on Snapchat just hours before Mallory died.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office has yet to confirm whether the death was in fact a suicide.
After Mallory’s death, her classmates showed up to school wearing light blue to raise awareness of bullying, and Mallory’s cheerleading coach, Paula Gehman, spoke out against bullying.
“Teachers have to be vigilant, always,” Gehman said. “At any age, something is going to happen. Somebody’s going to push somebody around. Just stop it.”
Mallory’s obituary paid tribute to her, calling her a caring child and noting that she once sold jewelry and gave the money she earned to a summer camp for children with cancer.
“Every once in a great while, heaven sends down a teacher in the form of a child,” the obituary reads. “Mallory was our teacher. She taught us how to love each other as only a child can. Her purpose and impact on this world is beyond what we can see or feel. And everyone who takes her lessons are better for having done so. She inspired. She was kind. She was innocent. She was beautiful. And she was pure.”
A friend of the Grossman family launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to help the family cover Mallory’s funeral expenses. All additional proceeds will go to charitable causes the young girl supported.
“We want to help [the family] give Mallory the beautiful memorial she deserves,” the fundraiser’s creator, Katee Reddin Petro, wrote.
The fundraiser, which had a goal of $20,000, brought in over $77,000 in its first three months.
“My husband, Richard and I were longtime Copeland teachers,” wrote one donor. “We cannot begin to express to you how very sorry we are for the loss of your beautiful Mallory. May her memory forever be a blessing.”
Meanwhile, news of Mallory’s death made internet users worldwide ponder the negative effects of social media on young people.
“Social media is plain evil,” wrote one Daily Mail reader. “But it’s not so easy to keep middle schoolers off of it. Better to teach them how to use it. I just deleted my Facebook because of drama and I’m 51.”
“Poor young girl,” added another. “Twelve-year-old children should not be on social media period. What happened to hopscotch, skipping, hide and seek and the like? It is sad that children live on electronic devices and take things to heart.”