A lawyer for the father of a New Jersey high school freshman who died by suicide days after a video emerged showing her being brutalized by classmates said he is filing legal claims against school officials over violent bullying he says led his daughter to end her life.
William Krais, the attorney for the father of Adriana Kuch, said his office is planning to file a tort claims notice with the Central Regional Board of Education, a precursor to a lawsuit in New Jersey, and claims against Central Regional High School in Bayville.
“We are exploring all possible legal claims arising from the tragic passing of Adriana Kuch,” Krais said in a statement. “We will investigate not only the vicious bullying by Adriana’s classmates at the school but also the administration’s lack of intervention and supervision leading up to this attack and its failure to engage law enforcement immediately after the attack.
“The administration’s role in Adriana’s tragic death will be brought to light, and Mr. Kuch will use every legal avenue possible to get to the truth for his family and the community.”
The tragic news about Adriana hit the students and parents hard. It led to a walkout in which students demanded administrators do more to end repeated acts of cruelty on campus.
Four girls have been charged criminally with the assault.
The school superintendent, Triantafillos Parlapanides, resigned after he defended the school and blamed Adriana’s family. He has since apologized.
The Central Regional School District announced an action plan to prevent and combat bullying.
“Everyone at Central Regional School District and High School mourns the loss of Adriana Kuch,” newly appointed Acting Superintendent Douglas Corbett said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends in this difficult time. The circumstances of her passing are disturbing, and we share the community’s shock.”
Gov. Phil Murphy this week suggested there could be a state-level investigation into bullying, although he didn’t elaborate.
“I can’t say specifically — but the answer will be yes, we always look in the mirror after something like this. And this is an awful, awful, awful tragedy,” Murphy told a reporter.
One mom, Rachel O’Dea, who filed a lawsuit against Central Regional School District in October 2022, spoke out about what she called Central Regional High School’s “toxic environment.”
She said her daughter began receiving threatening text messages from another student that eventually escalated to an assault in a school hallway and was posted on social media mocking her.
Adriana’s family members, meanwhile, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her memorial and to cover legal expenses.
“Adriana was a wonderful and brave daughter who touched the lives of those around her,” said the page organized by Sami Nye, Adriana’s aunt. “We are all devastated by her loss and were not prepared for the high cost of the expenses to come.”
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]