Insider NJ Special Edition: Addressing Youth Mental Health In New Jersey (PDF)

youth mental health

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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Addressing Youth Mental Health In New Jersey

 

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3 responses to “Insider NJ Special Edition: Addressing Youth Mental Health In New Jersey (PDF)”

  1. With the Democrats in charge of state government, this bullying law is nothing but a “paper tiger” to make Democrats feel good. I have seen bullying first-hand and forced a school to move the bullied kid to a private school paid for by the district. The taxpayers got stuck with the bill, instead of the parents of the bullies. And, because the school adminstration did nothing but slap the bullies on the wrist; after the bullies broke the kid’s fingers.

    If the State really wants to aggressively address bullying, they need to tell schools to have an open door policy to those being bullied, a no-tolerance, strict liability policy to expel the bullying students immediately, and in cases where there are assaults and beatings, expelling the bullies permanently, involvng police intervention to arrest the bullies and charge them with adult crimes. Juvenile facilities are not enough for some of these societal miscreants. A lot of teenagers are borderline adults, and in cases of physical beatings are occurring with large adult-size teenagers. Several months or a few years in county jail will wake up these societal miscreants.

  2. I’m a liberal Democrat and I agree with you. I’d also like to see the victim’s medical bills become the responsibility of the bully’s parents. Cost the miscreant’s father $ and watch how quickly things change!

  3. When my son was beaten at a roller rink in Middelsex County, years ago, the parents of the bullies were non-existant! One of the bullies had a parent in prison.
    Grandparents, trying to control troubled kids won’t or cannot pay. My son had a broken eye socket, double broken jaw and broken nose. Not to mention the trauma!

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