Very few people understand youth mental health like Diane Grossman of Rockaway Twp., whose beautiful little girl Mallory Rose five years ago endured the abuse of her peers on Snapchat before succumbing to suicide.
She was 12-years old.
Mallory’s Law subsequently came about through the bipartisan work of state Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Senator Patrick Diegnan (D-18). S-1790 amended New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights with specific requirements on school districts to help prevent and respond to bullying incidents.
“The Legislature has aggressively moved to control bullying in our schools, but it hasn’t been enough,” Pennacchio said at the time. “Today, victims of bullying are prone to attack 24 hours a day by schoolmates or rivals texting from their phones or flexing social media muscles online.
“This bill requires school and county officials to address bullying before it gets out of control, and makes it clear that districts, school officials and parents have a defined responsibility to protect children from aggressions that can occur on and off school property, on the internet, or by text,” Pennacchio added.
But it continues to spiral out of control, in school and out of school, and online, and it builds to the point where another beautiful young girl, in this case Adriana Kuch of Berkeley Twp., who earlier this year got jumped in a gang-land style ambush, beaten, and filmed while her attackers threw punches, committed suicide. The laws on the books, responsive, well-crafted, and made in good conscience, could not prevent the cessation of another young and beautiful broken heart.
Mallory and Adriana – gone; and the rest of us left behind to figure out where we went wrong, and what we might do to prevent another catastrophic outcome, another child’s death.
Do we truly need more laws if the laws on the books fail to prevent more loss of life?
Mallory’s Law could not spare us the need for Adriana’s Law.
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