A 14-year-old New Jersey high school student committed suicide after a video of a group of girls attacking her was posted online — a suicide her father believes was fueled by years of bullying.
Adriana Kuch, a student at Central Regional High School in Berkeley Township, was discovered dead at home two days after the heinous assault on Feb. 1, according to police.
An alarming video showed several students attacking the teen, hitting her with a water bottle, as she walked with her boyfriend in a school hallway, Patch reported.
A person can be heard yelling in the 20-second clip seen by the local news outlet: “That’s what you get, you stupid a— b—!”
The assailants are seen punching, kicking and pulling Adriana’s hair, while others laugh and record the vicious assault, according to ABC 7.
“They think it’s fun to attack people and take videos and post them,” Adriana’s devastated dad, Michael Kuch, told the station.
“Getting hit with a water bottle didn’t hurt Adriana, what hurt her was the embarrassment and humiliation, they just kept coming at her,” he said.
“My daughter actually blacks out and they don’t call an ambulance, they take her to the nurse’s office,” Kuch told ABC 7, adding Adriana had “never been in a fight before, she’s 98 pounds, 5-2 and she loves everybody.”
Three girls have been charged with third-degree felony assault and a fourth was charged with disorderly conduct, News 12 New Jersey reported.
Schools Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides told the news outlet that due to school policy, no police were called after the attack.
“I don’t believe a police report was completed. Normally, we just suspend. “If a parent wants to press charges, they can do so with the police,” he said, adding, “We’re not going to double-whammy a kid by suspending them and then charging them with police.”
Kuch was outraged at the school’s response, telling NBC New York: “A kid is assaulted with a weapon and their policy is not to call the police or file a report.”
On Facebook, Kuch posted images of the assault.
“These 4 girls planned and executed an attack. If you watch the videos I have, they are laughing while talking about what they are going to do,” he wrote, adding he “had to take my daughter covered in blood to the local police station.”
“If the school contacted the police and filed a report and conducted an investigation, these videos could have been discovered immediately,” he wrote.
“I want the entire world to know what these animals did to my daughter. I will not sleep until their family has to watch them stand in front of a judge and plead guilty,” he added.
Kuch also demanded accountability from the Ocean County school district for harassment and bullying that he says Adriana suffered for a long time.
More than 200 students at Central Regional High School walked out of class on Wednesday in protest of the incident, demanding action against what they described as a pattern of bullying that the district ignores, according to ABC 7.
“Adriana committed suicide because no one at the school could help, care, or intervene,” sophomore Roman Valez told the station. “I’d actually like to teach bullies what they’re doing and how it affects others.”
Adriana’s death was mentioned in a note on the district’s website, and crisis counselors were said to be available, but students claim they were not made personally aware of this.
“Nobody was supposed to know Adriana killed herself,” student Lance Jones told the outlet, adding that word spread about the tragedy.
Students and parents claim Adriana was not the only victim of bullying. According to her mother, a student was attacked in the school cafeteria last April and suffered an injury that rendered her unable to fight back.
Others shared similar stories, claiming that they or people they knew had been bullied and that the district did nothing to stop it.
The district issued a statement on its website, saying, in part, that “we fully understand that students, staff, and the community are hurting for the loss of such a young lady with a bright future.”
It was stated that a moment of silence was held outside prior to the students’ rally.
“To ensure the health, safety and well-being for all students, there will not be any rallies in the future without prior administration approval otherwise action will be taken in accordance with policy,” it said, adding: “It is time to start the healing process and we want to send our thoughts and prayers to the family.”
An online obituary for Adriana says the native of Toledo, Ohio, “adored all animals, she helped children with special needs, she loved jogging with her brothers and was a true nature lover. Adriana also enjoyed her walks in the woods, skateboarding, riding dune buggies and dirt bikes.”
A wake will be held at the Mastapeter Memorial Home in Bayville on Friday. Her funeral will be held in private.
Parlapanides defended the school’s bullying response.
“If the situation calls for it, we’ll call (police), but in this case, the students were suspended immediately,” he told The Washington Post, adding that the students involved are facing criminal charges.
“We address every incident of bullying, but some of it is on the internet and we don’t have access to that,” he explained. “We’re not the internet police, but we’re not burying our heads in the sand either.”