In the Name of Adriana Kuch: A Father and His Allies Fight Social Media Barbarism

New Jerseyans want justice in the aftermath of the suicide of a Bayville student who endured a vicious, barbaric in-school attack filmed by her assailants.

The shocking death of 14-year-old Adriana Kuch has galvanized those parents and youth intent on stopping the increasingly common practice of adolescents assaulting other adolescents, recording their heinous crime for fun, and attempting to shame their victims.

In this case, cowardly, attention-seeking, violent youths ambushed Ms. Kuch in the hallway of Central Regional High School in Berkeley Township, beat her, and later posted the video on Tik Tok to make a public spectacle of her agony.

Amid the onslaught of inhumane and frequently anonymous social media abuse, Ms. Kuch died by her own hand.

Now, led by the father of Adriana Kuch and her allies, the parents of victims who have absorbed similar attacks as fodder for social media and hate, and also found school districts tiptoeing away from the problem, say the time has come to put an end to the nightmare.

“Adriana was found dead in a closet in her home Feb. 3, two days after a video posted online showed the cruel assault while walked with her boyfriend, Jason Lopez, down a school hallway. During the beating — in which a group of girls hit her with a water bottle and taunted her — all but one of the girls took video of the attack,” Michael Kuch told The New York Post.

The only girl who didn’t was “busy smashing my daughter’s face in with the bottle,” Kuch said.

Breana Renda of Toms River, a mother, activist, and friend of Mr. Kuch, has added her voice to the heartbroken and undaunted father’s cause, to ensure that New Jersey will respond to a crisis it did heed in time to save a precious life.

“Social media played a very big role in Adriana taking her life,” Renda told InsiderNJ. “I’m on Tik Tok and I see it every day. Unfortunately, what I see on there is a lot of minor-on-minor crime. We need to put an end to this kind of malicious and intimidating posting; make it against the law. In this case, I have a child due to go to Central Regional High School, and I don’t feel 100% safe. There is a big negligence problem.”

Parent Racheal O’Dea told media outlets that her daughter experienced severe bullying at the school, which did not adequately respond. According to published reports, O’Dea filed an October 2022 civil lawsuit against the school district on her daughter’s behalf.

“There should be another law, that if a child has to go to the administration more than once and nothing happens, the administration has to be held accountable,” Renda said.

From NBC News:

“Superintendent Dr. Triantafillos Parlapanides stepped down on Saturday, sources tell News 4, following a series of interviews late in the week that caught the attention of the school board. Parlapanides reportedly delivered an email response to a British newspaper” in which he basically tried to blame the victim.

“During an emergency zoom meeting Saturday to discuss superintendent’s fate, Parlapanides, who was once a student, teacher and principal at the high school, submitted his resignation.”

Parents complain, too, about the size of massive feeder schools like Central Regional.

“The larger the school, the more anonymous the kid,” Renda said.

Carolyn Beauchamp, president and CEO at Mental Health Association in New Jersey, said the state needs to take time and care to throughly evaluate what happened here as it determines the best way to implement reforms. “We’re concerned about making sure the victim has whatever they need, and we do have questions in this case, specifically, why did the school step back?'” Beauchamp told InsiderNJ.

The mental health expert said New Jersey needs to examine the juvenile justice side of the equation too, and intends to continue to work closely with the legislature and the governor’s office.

New Jersey has some of the strongest anti-bullying laws in the nation.

This is the moment to reexamine them, say those close to the Adriana Kuch case.

State Senator Pat Diegnan (D-18), who worked on those laws, doesn’t disagree.

On Monday, the veteran lawmaker said we have to strengthen – maybe considerably – what we have on the books.

“Absolutely, we have to revisit anti-bullying policies,” Diegnan told InsiderNJ. “I just spoke with my chief-of-staff about it. I wish I had a silver bullet. We’re going to have to look at every aspect of this.”

Diegnan referred specifically to the Adriana Kuch case as the galvanizing moment.

“It’s just awful,” said the Middlesex lawmaker. “I don’t have words.”

He acknowledged the immense cultural challenge at hand.

“Every one of these kids is looking at their phones as they walk out of our schools,” said Diegnan. “All the kids are looking at social media. It’s awful. When I was back in school, and someone got bullied, you went home and forgot about it. Now, it continues all night long.”

Michael Kuch, Breana Renda, and other parents and students who show social media-posted videos to their parents, intent on opening the eyes of others to the sadistic violence, will continue – for as long at takes to save young and vital lives, in the name of Adriana Kuch.

“The new law should be named after her,” Renda said.

 

 

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9 responses to “In the Name of Adriana Kuch: A Father and His Allies Fight Social Media Barbarism”

  1. There are no words suitable enough to describe the terrible sense of loss that keeps coming back whenever I think about the death of, Miss Adriana Olivia Kuch, the beautiful young High school person who while in a time of personal family crises was assaulted by classmates at school and then went home and committed suicide.

    No thoughts, no prayers, no expressions of heartfelt sympathy will ever do now that Adriana has given in to this cruel life’s pressures leaving the rest of us truly sad for a young woman that we never knew and never will except in the accounts of her passing.

    Miss Adriana Olivia Kuch must not have left this world for nothing now, a sad statistic in an equally sad world. Somewhere her loved ones friends and family are hurt to the core of their being. Somewhere everyone who saw all this unfold surely must have profound regrets that they can do nothing to change the long term solution to one of lifes short term problems that claimed the life of Adriana who saw no other way to deal with what she was dealing with.

    Somehow it’s not enough to go back over every detail of the chain of event’s that led up to this heavy loss. We have clearly heard and seen these result in something like this before, yet here we are?

    We, as a society, as a community, as a school district, failed you Adriana, I’m sorry.

  2. Arrest all the suspects, these wannabe tough bullies, and charge them for murder as accessories.

    This is the only real way to change and to scare the s**** out of these “tough guys”.

    I hope justice is served swiftly and heavily. Prison time is a must.

  3. All of the kids responsible for this heinous crime, ALL OF THEM, should be tried as adults for their crimes, and the parents should be tried as if they participated since they are responsible for raising “responsible” kids. Aside from my own opinions about what should happen, I stand with the parents and family of Adriana.

  4. This is a very sad commentary on our society today. These so-called “bullies”, who are nothing but murderers, are the product of broken families that the gov’t (especially caused by the Democrats over the past 60 years since 1964) has created through welfare dependence, and family court divorces that creates extreme violence, drug abuse, rape, teen pregnancies, etc.

    Apparently, this gang of thugs aren’t learning anything in school, are uneducated, and are nothing more than neanderthal savages. Most of them can’t read, write, talk properly, or count change while working in fast food stores. They have have no socially redeeming graces as humans, and cannot be put in the same category as humans, or even animals. They should be expelled, put in juvenile homes, or, in this case, be jailed as adults for murder, accessories to murder, aggravated assault, etc. Mr. Kuch must also pound the school district and the parents of these feral savages into the dirt with a massive lawsuit for wrongful death, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc. You may not get anything from such parents, but judgments are good for 20 yrs, and upon expiration, can be re-upped for another 20 yrs–in case these parents hit the lottery, have retirement plans, get large sums from government largesse, etc.

    NJ, NY, other Blue States, and inner city schools have become cesspools of feral packs of children looking for targets of opportunity to put on social media. If our gov’t doesn’t have the guts to expel these children, take them from their parents and have them put in juvenile homes and/or jailed as adults, then We the People must take the initiative and vehemently demand school choice with education taxes being used for private, parochial, and/or charter schools to get away from the current schools as juvenile houses of horror, or demand that gov’t schools be closed down until teachers are trained not to put up with nonsense from miscreants in the schools.

  5. Justice cries out and must be served. Bullies have become accustomed hiding behind parents and school administrators , who constantly make excuses and promise to “do better.” The only way yo stop this horrible behavior is for both parents and bullies to be held accountable.
    Bully someone and you’re out of school and may not be admitted to any institution within the entire state in which the act occurs. Parents, will be held account as well by paying fines, commensurate with the act. Perm at injuries and death will require the bully be tried as a Juno vile and held in an institution for a period of at least five years! Parents will find themselves jailed as well. School administrators failing to report instances will lose their credentials and may never be part of any school administration or teach anywhere again.

    Want to stop this, put some teeth into the punishment!

  6. I’ve taken phones from students. I never played that mess in my room or if I saw it in the hallways or bathrooms. If I saw a phone, I took it, because they were supposed to have put it away before school started. I scares the absolute s%>t out of a group of my girls while they were SUPPOSED to be going to the bathroom. I am super silent while walking and they didn’t hear me until they saw me….and I demanded the phone. I only had to demand it one more time(I guess the look on my face with clenched teeth told them I wasn’t joking.) The girl who owned it, I’d taken the phone from her in class before and given it back at the end of class, or the school day. This time I told her a parent was going to have to come get her phone. She whined and begged and I just looked at her until she she the point and stomped back to her seat in tears. She was mad at me for WEEKS! But I never saw that phone again my room and she was never in the bathroom goofing around with it either
    Teens think they are invincible. These 4 just found out they are not. I’m betting they turned into sniveling babies when they found out. Thinking they were all big and bad…until you find out you made someone feel so awful that killed themselves. Not a good feeling, I’d imagine…..

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