Mallory Rose Grossman was a vibrant and charismatic girl from Rockaway, New Jersey who was bullied by a group of girls from her middle school. June of 2019, at the very young age of 12, she took her own life. Following this horrific tragedy, her parents Dianne and Seth Grossman, started the foundation Mallory’s Army. To continue to fight against bullying, the documentary “Mallory” was made.
I spoke with Mallory’s mother Dianne Grossman to learn more about Mallory and her film.
Please tell us what you would like the readers to know about Mallory
Mallory was the everyday all-American little girl. She loved the outdoors, making crafts, gymnastics, was a good student, and avid cheerleader. Mallory was targeted by a small group of girls who made her feel invisible and unimportant. They teased her regularly at school. In June they decided to take their hate to the social media site Snapchat. Even though Mallory wasn’t on Snapchat they would screen shot the images and text them to her to make sure she saw the hate online. Things like “you have no friends” and “poor Mal.” The day before Mallory took her own life, in a crowded lunch room, in front of Mallory’s peers, one girl said “when are you going to kill yourself.”
After a three-hour meeting with the guidance counselor and principal (still employed by the Rockaway Township school system), the principal gave Mallory a poker chip and 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.
Mallory and our family are victims of a broken system, and what happened to Mallory can happen to others. 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 and invisible wounds.
What is Mallory’s Army?
We are a 501.C(3) charitable foundation. Our mission statement is to empower kids to be amazing people, education for parents, enrichment for schools, and enhance communities. We travel all over New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Michigan, California, and Georgia, sharing our story. We have a program for parents on our YouTube channel “The Parent Project” Not only does the program tackle bullying, but it has open discussions with people in our community about hard topics in a documentary style format. Our life is about resilience. Teaching everyone “bad things happen to good people” it’s 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.
When does the documentary come out and how can we watch it?
The link is live April 17-26 and you can stream on Vimeo using any electronic device like laptop or Smart TV https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mallory.
Why is it a two-day rental?
We wanted to give parents the opportunity to watch it before sharing with their children. 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. Watch it for yourself.
Why is the film 22 dollars?
Mallory’s birthday is April 22nd, she would be 15. We wanted to find a way to honor her birthday. It’s always a very painful time for us personally – it’s our way to help fundraise for the future and honor her memory.
What do the proceeds go to?
The $22 covers all costs associated with releasing the film. Music rights to Sony for “She Used to be Mine” and Ingrid Michaelson’s “Afterlife,” streaming fee’s, credit card fee’s, and lastly helping cover the initial costs to produce the 90-minute film. The remainder of the cost will go directly to Mallory’s Army.
For more information about Mallory’s army, visit www.mallorysarmy.org.