Last week Adriana Kuch was assaulted by fellow students at Central Regional High School in New Jersey. The ongoing bullying led the 14-year-old girl to take her life. Now, former teachers and students claim school administrators were aware that bullying was occurring but turned a blind eye.
Ocean County prosecutors investigating the case disclosed the allegations while announcing that they met with school administrators last week.
One of the claims of negligence came from Daniel Keiser, a former staffer who worked at the high school for twenty years. Keiser posted to Facebook: “There were days where I would break up three fights before home room even started.”
Keiser continued: “As a teacher … and a parent there who dealt with intense bullying, we would often plead with administration to get things under control and only one of them ever tried.”
Keiser added, “They were notorious for brushing things under the carpet.”
CeCe Lane, a former student, also took to Facebook to express concerns. She noted that she watched from the locker room doors as girls bullied Adriana in the gym.
“[School officials] did not bother to help,” Lane wrote. “I know plenty of people that got bullied … and humiliated … the school always looked the other way.”
On Feb. 1, four teenage girls brutally attacked Adriana in a school hallway. Students captured the assault on video. School officials did not contact the police.
Video of the attack was widely shared on social media, adding to Adriana’s torment. The bullying continued for days as students posted hateful comments online.
Despondent, Adriana committed suicide two days later. Her family blames school officials for not properly addressing the issue of bullying.
The school faced a similar situation last year when another female student was bullied and attacked in a school hallway. That incident was also videotaped and posted to several online platforms to torment the victim.
That unnamed victim sued the school in October. Her lawyer claimed the student warned “school officials before her attack that she was being threatened and harassed, yet nothing was done.”
Attorney Jonathan Ettman added: “They didn’t call the police, they didn’t take it seriously, apparently, and sure enough, these girls came through on their promise and assaulted my client.”
According to a report in the New York Post, the school district’s superintendent, Triantafillos Parlapanides, “infamously appeared to try to blame Kuch’s suicide on her own family, claiming she was upset her dad had an ‘affair’ and that she used drugs.”
Under pressure, Parlapanides resigned last Saturday.
Parent Jeff Riccardi wrote on Facebook that he’s glad Central Regional administrators are being held accountable.
“The truth is, aside from bragging about an anti-bullying policy, the school’s doing more to hide all the problems.”
Riccardi later told the Post, “No one cares what happens until it’s your child.”
The school district office posted the following statement on its website:
“Central Regional School District is working in conjunction with the Berkeley Township Police Department to ensure school safety and that appropriate additional safeguards are in place. The District recognizes and appreciates the public’s right to protest. However any protests cannot disrupt school services during school hours.”
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