Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer met with school officials after Adriana Kuch, 14 year old Central Region HS took her own life two days after hallway attack and video of assault to discuss school’s handling of incident in the wake of ongoing bullying and lukewarm efforts to address violence.
Why didn’t school officials call police? A New Jersey county prosecutor met with officials from the high school where 14 year old student Adriana Kuch was beaten in a hallway on February 1 only to take her own life two days later after one of her attackers sent the girl video of the ‘humiliating’ assault being widely shared on social media.
The video of the brutal assault showing Kuch being punched and kicked by other students was shared widely on social media, with the 14-year-old girl tormented by hateful comments before she died of suicide on Feb. 3.
Despite the violence that left Kuch bloodied and bruised, school officials inexplicably didn’t call police.
Of note, a near identical incident happened to another student in January 2022 that included a filmed, physical assault in a school hallway. Again, police weren’t called, according to a lawsuit filed in October.
Kuch’s death thrust school bullying to the forefront and sparked student protests outside of Central Regional High School.
Adrian Kuch boyfriend regrets not saving her life when she called him (day before killing herself)
This is a whole new level of bullying. I’m glad the four teenage girls where charged for the beating of Adriana Kuch (14), who committed suicide two days later after this video was spread online. One is now charged with aggravated assault, and could face court as an adult, one… https://t.co/6tO4s8Xb0n pic.twitter.com/4QlwldDBtS
— DeL2000 (@DeL2000) February 11, 2023
Staff changes and guidance
A report via FOX News cited Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer telling the outlet that he spoke with student protesters and school officials on Thursday for a private, two-hour discussion.
He said he met with then superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides again Friday morning ‘to discuss ways to improve the district’s response to incidents within the school.’
‘I also shared some suggestions regarding staff changes as well as programming and services to respond to the needs of the students,’ Billhimer said.
The prosecutor declined to go into detail about their conversation while saying he addressed calling police when there’s a violent confrontation.
‘I can say that was certainly a topic of discussion,’ Billhimer told FOX. ‘We discussed number of things. I’d like the opportunity to assist the school in implementing some of the suggestions I made, so for now I don’t want to comment any further.’
It wasn’t until later that evening, that Parlapanides, who was on a $190K salary handed in his resignation following fallout of his handling of Kuch’s bullying and suicide along with remarks he made seemingly slandering the victim.
Speaking to FOX News, Jonathan Ettman a lawyer representing a NJ student who was bullied in the same school as Adriana Kuch says physical attacks and relentless social media bullying are rampant throughout New Jersey.
Adriana Kuch attackers & bullies identified on social media in planned attack https://t.co/17rmmH9FmZ #Ayona Lanzetti #Keyona Brinson #Amira Mosley #Jasmine Puga #Triantafillos Parlapanides #Michael Kuch #adriana kuch video #adrianakuch
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) February 12, 2023
Desire to further shame their victims
The lawyer said the perpetrators often were inspired by their desire to receive notoriety for their actions and to further shame their victims, with videos of incidents almost immediately shared across a wide swath of social media outlets.
Four students, whose names haven’t been released because of their ages, were criminally charged in connection with the hallway attack.
One juvenile is charged with aggravated assault, two juveniles were charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and the fourth juvenile was charged with harassment.
All four students involved in the attack have been expelled from the local high school.
Despite police declining to identify the students, social media widely reported the names of the alleged attackers, with many demanding the four teen girls face even wider and harsher punishment for their part in ‘causing Adriana Kuch to take her own life.’