The Tragic Impact of Bullying on Young Children
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to talk to Dianne Grossman, Co-Founder of Mallory's Army, about her daughter's tragic death, the impact bullying has on young children, and how Mallory's Army is on a mission to spread kindness.
"Steve Adubato here. We're at the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. We're about to have a forum, a panel discussion called Breaking the Cycle, Breaking the Cycle of Abuse and Bullying. And one of the members of that panel, we're honored to be joined by Dianne Grossman, co-founder of Mallory's Army. Good to have you. Thank you for having me. Tell us about Mallory. Your daughter. Gosh. Yeah. So Mallory, she was 12 years old. Sixth grader, good student. Your all-American little girl. She was a cheerleader. She was a gymnast. Good family. Yeah. She was just your all-American little girl. Somewhere along the way, she got targeted by some other kids? Yeah. Yeah, there was a group of girls that just hand-selected - I guess they have a type, and they just decided to pick on her - I think is where it really started. Let's just make fun of her and tease her. When did it... when did it start? It was a slow progression. It started in fifth grade. A little bit of relational bullying. You know, I like you on Tuesday, don't like you on Wednesday, can you come over on Thursday? So a very confusing time. And... yeah, they just picked on her. So you've been very open, and you're doing an incredible public service. Thanks. And a lot of parents... well, I don't know what other parents would do. Yeah. She was 12 years old when she committed suicide? Yeah. What...? Were there signs that you saw? I mean, you knew there was something going on. Yeah. But what signs could you have possibly seen? That's the troubling... with this. It's not... I think of it as, it's an impulsive suicide. Meaning that the same signs that every tween goes through, the slamming of the doors, the lack of appetite, the stomachaches, the headaches the self isolation, those are the symptoms. Yet those are the same symptoms that every parent experiences with young tween girls. So it's hard to look back and say there was one particular thing that I could have picked out. Mallory's first attempt was her last attempt. So it's not as if I had a warning. Right. Essentially. Those young people who were mean, who were bullying, and abusive to Mallory? Yeah. Did you sense after this horrific, tragic death of your daughter, that they had remorse that they realized that they had contributed on some level? No. Quite the opposite. It was more of a... The opposite? Quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, I have an image of one of the girls who held her hand up like this, and showed the Mallory's Army band, and said, "If you listen close, you can hear..."