New Jersey Student Suicide Over Bullying Causes Outrage Across the Nation

Iyad Anbar, Staff Writer

Adriana Kuch, a 14-year-old, told her father that she could no longer bear the embarrassment of being bullied after another girl attacked her violently. A clip of the fight was also spread around social media.

Michael Kuch, the father of Adriana Kuch, stated, “She said, ‘I don’t want to be that girl who gets beat up on video and made fun of,’” as he recalled his conversation with her as they sat in the kitchen of their Bayville home. Michael asked, “Can you imagine walking through the school with her face beat in?”

The day following the February 1st attack, Adriana went to her room and committed suicide in the middle of the night, Michael Kuch stated. He accused the school district of mishandling the attack his daughter was involved in. Adriana’s suicide has reverberated through the whole nation and all the Ocean Country communities near Jersey Shore. Outrage and public grieving have led officials nationwide to take the prevalence of bullying in schools more seriously, especially with how it can affect a student’s response or lack of one.

Following the days after Adriana’s suicide, a multitude of students protested in front of her high school. The superintendent of Adriana’s school, the Central Regional School District has resigned. The four girls that were involved in the attack that led to her unfortunate death have all been criminally charged in connection with the assault.

The mayor of Berkely Township, Carmen Amato, stated in an email, “There is obviously a great deal of rightful anguish and emotion with Adriana’s passing, from her family, friends and within our community at large.” The voicemailbox at the superintendent’s office was full, and school board members did not respond to a request to comment. The district stated it had contacted the state Education Department in a message on its website and would undergo an independent assessment regarding their anti-bullying policies to ensure student safety following Adriana’s death. The message also stated, “We are all praying for the family and loved ones and our entire community.”

The motive for Adriana’s attack that ultimately led to her suicide is still unclear, which took place on a Wednesday before 11 a.m. However, the video recording of the fight displays that it had evidently been planned prior. In the video, Adriana walks down a school hallway alongside copious lockers, while chatting with a male friend. She is then hit with a water bottle when a girl comes from behind her and begins the attack. Her friend pushes the attackers away as Adriana falls to the ground. But he is held back when another student intervenes, and the girl continues to violently hit Adriana. A staff member finally intervenes and stops the attack.

Adriana was the youngest child in her family, Mr. Kuch said, she belonged to a large, blended family they had formed when he married Sarah, his wife. Michael and others say Adriana was a joyous teenager that loved animals. Although Adriana is no longer with us, the world should use her death as an example of what to prevent in the future.