N.J. school district where Adriana Kuch was attacked has a ‘culture of violence,’ community members say

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BAYVILLE, N.J.— The New Jersey faculty district the place 14-year-old Adriana Kuch was attacked before she died by suicide days later has a “tradition of violence,” in line with members of the group.

Mother and father, lecturers and college students of Central Regional School District say directors have a historical past of ignoring violence throughout the faculties that dates again virtually 20 years.

Kuch was discovered lifeless in her Bayville house two days after a Feb. 1 assault at Central Regional Excessive Faculty. The assault was recorded, and the 4 college students concerned within the assault have been suspended and charged, officers stated.

A minimum of 4 college students informed NBC Information that directors are dismissive when college students come ahead with bullying claims.

“There’s been a whole lot of rage and anger. They didn’t do something,” stated sophomore Sarah Gibson, 15. “That’s for everyone, not simply Adriana. I, myself, have filed about seven bullying or harassment stories and nothing’s been accomplished.”

Gibson stated college students can file a report or a grievance in opposition to bullying by going to their faculty’s principal workplace, assistant principal’s workplace or steerage counselor and filling out a sheet of paper describing the incident with particulars.

“And so they’ll say, ‘Alright give that to me and we’ll handle it,'” Gibson stated. “The issue didn’t cease. It’s only for present just about.”

The varsity district and the board of schooling didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

A 14-year-old freshman who attends the highschool and was pals with Kuch because the fourth grade stated bullying is an “each day incidence” throughout the district and that he has been bullied himself at Central Regional, the place he says he tries to put low so he received’t be focused.

“A child tried combating me simply because I checked out him. I don’t actually become involved,” he stated.

The directors, he stated, “simply say it’s not your corporation or that they’ve already gotten it taken care of.”

“I’m disgusted,” he added. “They need to be doing all the things they’ll.”

What occurred to Adriana Kuch at Central Regional Excessive Faculty was not an remoted incident, the scholars stated.

Adriana Kuch.
Adriana Kuch.Courtesy Michael Kuch

A lady who was the identical age as Kuch on the time was additionally attacked in a hallway at the highschool by three women in January 2022, in line with her father or mother, Racheal O’Dea.

O’Dea stated her daughter had been receiving threats on-line and in individual from the women who attacked her previous to the incident, and informed the varsity’s principal and assistant principal about it in December 2021.

“She confirmed them the messages. She gave them the knowledge they usually did nothing,” O’Dea informed NBC Information. “Then they went on Christmas break and in January the women adopted up on their promise and jumped her from behind.”

Two women assaulted O’Dea’s daughter on Jan. 10, 2022 by punching her within the head, neck and again. One other lady recorded the assault, which was shared on social media, O’Dea stated.

“She cried out for assist simply to be ignored. There are a whole lot of conditions the place you hear youngsters don’t wish to say something about bullying in case there’s any retaliation and right here my daughter is, she was courageous sufficient to succeed in out to people who find themselves supposed to maintain her protected they usually failed her,” O’Dea stated.

The ladies chargeable for her daughter’s assault have been suspended for 10 days and confronted no additional punishment, O’Dea stated. Her daughter, now 15, attends faculty at a distinct district.

In October 2022, O’Dea filed a lawsuit in opposition to the Central Regional Faculty District, the board of schooling, the highschool’s principal and the assistant principal.

“This faculty has a tradition of violence that’s been ongoing for fairly a while,” O’Dea’s lawyer, Jonathan Ettman, stated. “The varsity is clearly not taking college students critically once they report threats of violence and the violence continues, now it’s led to a younger lady taking her life.”

Central Regional Excessive Faculty Principal Irene Marousis and Assistant Principal Darryl Heale declined to touch upon the lawsuit, Kuch’s case and claims that stories of violence have been ignored.

Daniel Keiser, who taught at the highschool for over 20 years earlier than leaving in 2007, stated the violence he is listening to about is nothing new.

“There have been days the place I’d break up three fights earlier than house room even began,” Keiser wrote in a Fb publish revealed Saturday. “As a instructor there and a father or mother there who handled intense bullying, we’d typically plead with administration to get issues below management and solely one in every of them ever tried. They have been infamous for brushing issues below the carpet. So it appears they fostered a local weather like this over a few years.”

The assault on Adriana Kuch at Central Regional Excessive Faculty garnered nationwide consideration after video of it was posted on-line.

On Saturday, simply someday after funeral companies have been held for {the teenager}, the varsity district’s superintendent, Triantafillos Parlapanides, resigned.

Parlapanides had urged in interviews with information shops, together with the Daily Mail, that Kuch used medicine and that her father had refused the district’s affords to assist.

Danielle Ledesma, 17, stated she was bullied however by no means reported it to the varsity as a result of she felt nothing can be accomplished about it.

Ledesma, a highschool senior, didn’t know Kuch, however stated she was devastated to study of her suicide.

“Once I discovered that somebody from this faculty thought of that and acted upon it, it made me understand how a lot college students assume the identical factor,” she stated.

“If all people who had been bullied acted upon their ideas, there wouldn’t be anyone in Bayville,” she added. “All people can be gone.”

Melissa Chan reported from Bayville, and Mirna Alsharif reported from New York Metropolis.

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