Outrage Over Ocean County Teen Suicide Reveals Years of Hidden Bullying


14 year old Adriana Kuch. (New York Times)

By Eunice Chi, Social Media Editor

In early February, 14 year old teen, Adriana Kuch of Bayville, New Jersey, was bullied into taking her own life. 

Adriana was beaten by four students in a school hall, the video of which spread to social media and led to further bullying. No police were brought in to stop the attack, and the attackers were only suspended at first. She committed suicide shortly after the attack. The four girls were later charged with aggravated assault, harassment, and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. 

In the first Central Regional School District board meeting after the tragedy, hundreds of parents, students, and members of the communities angrily expressed their concerns to the Board for not doing enough to prevent Adriana’s death, and address other incidents of bullying in school. 

Students shared their own accounts of being bullied at the school, and how they were brushed off by authority figures. The general consensus among community members is that Central Regional High School has been sweeping bullying under the rug for years.

“When people ask me what my experience at Central Regional is, it’s not, ‘I went to CR.’ It’s ‘I survived CR,’ because coming to the school, it’s like being in a prison,” stated Central Regional sophomore Roman Velez. 

“I think the administration needs to be held accountable for Adriana’s death, this is obviously showing a pattern of bullying in school that has been kept hidden,” commented Hills senior Deanna Gaber.

“We’re scared to walk in the hallways of Central,” freshman Emma Smith revealed. “We’re terrified we’re going to get picked on and bullied and jumped.”

“It shouldn’t take a child taking her own life for us to change. It should never get to that point,” said Crystal Mayo at the Regional Board meeting, whose niece left Central Regional due to bullying. “A child should never have those thoughts. A child should be able to enter a school and feel safe. We should be teaching our children tolerance and love and respect. Everybody’s different.”

The former superintendent, Triantafillos Parlapanides, resigned after trying to blame Adriana’s family for her suicide, citing her father’s “affair” and claiming that Adriana used drugs.

Acting Superintendent Douglas Corbett stated that he is planning measures such as a steering committee to update bullying prevention methods, and the way forward after Adriana’s death. 

“Retaining an outside party to examine our policies and our response to crisis,” Dr. Corbett said. “Reviewing our district’s policies, cellphone policies specific scheduling, Student Assembly to discuss volume, social media risks, and related contemporary issues. Establish a toll-free hotline, operated by an outside party for students to call anonymously if they wish if they feel threatened, physically, or online.”