The family of a New Jersey teen who died by suicide after video of her being assaulted at her high school was posted online is suing the board of education and school officials, their attorneys said Monday.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Adriana Kuch’s family against the Central Regional Board of Education and others alleges that officials were aware of “a culture of violence at Central Regional High School” and failed to protect her, the lawyers said.
Adriana took her own life after she was attacked by at least one other student in her high school in 2023, and after video of the attack was posted online.
The assault and the video “led to her public humiliation and ultimate suicide,” the family lawyers said in a statement.
Adriana’s death sparked walkouts at Central Regional High School, which is in Berkeley Township on the Jersey Shore. The district superintendent, Triantafillos Parlapanides, resigned.
Video obtained by NBC New York after the incident showed Adriana being struck with no warning in the face by someone holding a water bottle near hallway lockers, before the attack continued. The lawsuit claims two students attacked her and two others recorded it.
Four students were criminally charged.
The lawsuit on behalf of Adriana ‘s family was filed this week in Ocean County, New Jersey, where the school district is located. It names the Central Regional Board of Education, Parlapanides, the high school principal, an assistant principal and others.
The suit alleges that they and others should have known that students had been assaulted at the school and “were being recorded and posted to various social media sites by other students.”
The suit was filed days before the one-year anniversary of Adriana’s death. She was attacked on Feb. 1, 2023, and was found dead in her Bayville home two days later.
“Adriana was the light of our lives, and one year after her horrific and needless death, we are still waiting for justice,” her father, Michael Kuch, said in a statement.
The civil complaint seeks unspecified damages for allegations that include negligence, defamation and the infliction of emotional distress. It also seeks unspecified punitive damages.
Online court records did not list attorneys for any of the defendants in the case. A voice mail left with the board of education’s business administration late Monday was not immediately returned.
The Central Regional School District has said that it has taken action to address bullying after Adriana’s death.
The district declined to comment to NBC New York, saying in a statement that it had not yet been served a copy of the complaint and that the school board would be limited on what it could say because the matter involves litigation.
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