Father of Adriana Kuch Sues School System in Ocean County

New Jersey’s Central Regional Board of Education, school superintendent, school principal, an anti-bullying specialist, and other school officials knew about a culture of violence at Central Regional High School in Berkeley Township and failed to adequately protect 14-year-old freshman Adriana Kuch from a physical assault that led to her public humiliation and ultimate suicide, according to a civil lawsuit filed this week in Ocean County. The filing also accuses the school superintendent of defamation and violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in the days following Miss Kuch’s death.

The suit, brought by Adriana’s father, Michael Kuch, Sr., and stepmother Sarah Kuch, on their behalf and on behalf of Adriana’s estate and her brother Ethan Kuch, alleges that the defendants not only knew about the harassment, intimidation, and bullying within the school’s halls – and the video recordings and social media posts showing the attacks – they also failed to appropriately and adequately address threats posed by students in compliance with the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Statute. The defendants also failed to investigate these threats in a timely and appropriate manner, according to the complaint.

Adriana Kuch died by suicide on February 3, 2023, following a brutal attack in the school hallway on February 1, which one of her assailants recorded and subsequently posted on various social media sites. She received a blow to the face with a water bottle, punches, and kicks by a group of students who allegedly conspired to commit the attack. The incident gained international attention when school superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides publicly stated school officials didn’t pursue criminal charges against the students who assaulted Adriana because they didn’t want the kids to face a “double whammy” – potential discipline from the school and from law enforcement.

Then, on the day of Adriana’s funeral, Superintendent Parlapanides publicly and falsely attributed Adriana’s death to her father having an affair (which the superintendent fabricated) that led to Adriana’s mother’s suicide, commenting that her father now had to eat a “sh-t sandwich.” Parlapanides violated federal law by revealing Adriana’s history of mental health issues, and resigned.

“Michael Kuch and his family have experienced so much heartache and tragedy already, and the gross negligence of school officials – followed by the superintendent’s cruel, insensitive, and defamatory remarks – only compound their pain,” said William Krais, Kuch family counsel and a Porzio, Bromberg & Newman principal. “It is the defendants’ job to provide a safe and secure environment for the students at Central Regional High School. They catastrophically failed Adriana, leading to the emotional distress, humiliation, and embarrassment that ultimately caused her to take her own life. It’s high time the school and those involved are held accountable for their actions.”

“Adriana was the light of our lives, and one year after her horrific and needless death, we are still waiting for justice,” said Michael Kuch. “It’s clear this school has a serious bullying problem that none of the school administrators care to admit or address. But what’s more troublesome and hurtful are the incredibly rude and insensitive comments from Superintendent Parlapanides when our family was at its lowest point. How someone could make such false and careless remarks when our daughter had just died is beyond me.”

The case is Michael Kuch, Sr., et al v. Central Regional Board of Education et al filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Ocean County, case number OCN-L-000252-24.

 

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10 responses to “Father of Adriana Kuch Sues School System in Ocean County”

  1. Good for the Kuch family. I’m a 1989 graduate of crhs, and it is an accurate statement, bullying has been swept under the rug for decades with this school. I pray the law makes an example of all parties involved. Especially the adults. Shame on them. And may they never be allowed to hold positions in any school system.

  2. Sue the hell out of them my grand daughter went to the school and was there I’m so sorry for your loss by the way my granddaughter switched to a different school after that happened good luck

  3. I am very glad to see this, they need to be held responsible!!! The kids that did this need also need to be held accountable for this also!!! So very sorry for your loss I couldn’t event imagine.

  4. So sad, why didnt these kids harassment get to official’s. Withing the school ? This is not tge first time, this young lady suffered this bulling.
    As per 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7, each school district, charter school, and non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall create, maintain, and implement a policy on bullying which must be filed with the State Board of Education. Furthermore, entities must conduct a review and reevaluation of the policy every two years. If an entity fails to file a policy on bullying within 14 days of receipt of a written request to file a policy, the State Board of Education shall publish notice of the non-compliance on the State Board of Education’s website.

  5. I really hope those kids and their parents get what’s coming to them and so much more. There is no reason or excuse in this word that could ever justify what the did to that poor girl. And the school – I just don’t get why school officials would let something like this happen, make cruel and unjustified comments about the family and then turn their backs on it. The whole situation regarding bullying is disgusting and disturbing. My thoughts and prayers gout out to the family. I am so very sorry for what you’re going through.

  6. I wish the family success with this lawsuit. Hopefully the BOE will institute changes at the school and I hope the parents of the kids who are responsible take action within their own families. They aught to be ashamed of themselves.

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