New Jersey

It Lasted Just 50 Seconds. And Her Dad Says It Was Enough to Make Her Take Her Life

Video posted to social media last week showed several students viciously attacking Adriana Olivia Kuch as she was walking with her boyfriend in a school hallway. Two days later, she took her own life in her home. News 4 has obtained the footage (below). WARNING: Some may find it disturbing

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What to Know

  • Video posted to social media last year showed several students viciously attacking Adriana Olivia Kuch as she was walking with her boyfriend in a school hallway; four people in the video were suspended
  • The victim, 14-year-old Adriana Kuch, took her own life at her Bayville, New Jersey, home two days later, family and investigators say; they say Central Regional High School handled the situation poorly
  • The school district says it followed policy in not filing a police report over the attack, instead taking the girl to the nurse; her father has said that's not good enough and is demanding justice

The family of a 14-year-old girl who died by suicide last year after video of other students viciously attacking her in a school hallway was posted to social media,

Silence from local prosecutors in one New Jersey county remained deafening for one family, and many supporters, Friday, as they awaited news on whether criminal charges would be filed against students in a school bullying case that has drawn national headlines, largely for one overwhelming reason: The 14-year-old girl at its center is dead.

Friends and family of Bayville's Adriana Kuch, a freshman at Central Regional High School in Berkeley Township, prepared to honor her memory later Friday as fallout over video of the horrific attack, and how the school handled both the attack and the existence of the footage, continue to mount.

Kuch's father, Michael Kuch, said this week that Ocean County prosecutors told him they planned to file criminal charges against at least three of the girls seen on video attacking his daughter last month. Prosecutors previously said that they were "aware of the incident" but couldn't comment further because the case involves juveniles.

The Ocean County prosecutor released a statement Friday, saying the office has discussed the matter with the superintendent in the morning and talked about ways to improve district response to incidents. The office also suggested the district work on programming and services for the students.

All four girls involved in the attack on Kuch, who took her own life at her home 48 hours after video of the bullying surfaced online, have been suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of the legal process, the district superintendent confirmed Thursday. Kuch's family members were the ones who found her dead on Feb. 3.

Two days earlier, the hallway attack video was posted to social media. News 4 has obtained that footage (below). WARNING: Note that some viewers may find its contents disturbing.

News 4 obtained the Central Regional High School fight video. WARNING: Some may find this disturbing to watch.

The footage itself lasts less than a minute. It shows Kuch walking down the hallway with her boyfriend as the kids recording the moment approach them going in the opposite direction. Suddenly, there's a quick movement from someone near the phone-holder and pink liquid sprays out of a cup, all over Kuch. She is then set upon by at least two people, the video shows, slammed into school lockers and surrounded by what is now a trio of attackers.

She crumples on the floor. The three classmates, backpacks swinging, fall over themselves a bit near the lockers, almost stepping on Kuch as she crawls around on the floor, trying to collect herself. Then they start shoving her, dragging her almost along the ground on her knees, raking her against the red school lockers, the white soles of her shoes the only part of her visible underneath her attackers at various points. Then one girl grabs her by the hair.

The violent attack continues for another few seconds before two adults run into the video frame and pull the attackers off Kuch. She is seen writhing on the ground, her hands holding either side of her head as a man stands over her. He then helps the bruised and bloodied girl up. The footage wraps.

While authorities have not publicly connected the attack video post to Kuch's death, her father Michael has. He says he believes bullying drove his daughter to suicide and eviscerated the school for not calling the cops after the attack, despite the fact he says Adriana blacked out. Taking her to the school nurse alone was insufficient, he says.

Administrators had argued the response at Central Regional was in line with policy, telling NBC New York that it's standard practice for the school to notify the police. They don't always press charges, though.

The district superintendent resigned in February 2023 amid backlash for seeming to pin the blame on Kuch's family history and personal life. Douglas Corbett, who was appointed acting superintendent, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

In the aftermath of Kuch's death, new videos surfaced of other bullying incidents at the high school. A video from 2022 showed a girl, with her arm in a sling because of a shoulder injury during a wrestling match, getting attacked. That student's mother told NBC New York she had to send her daughter to an out-of-district school after her attackers were suspended for 10 days.

In another attack from the same year, the victim again had to be transferred out afterward. Jonathan Ettman, the lawyer for the family suing the school, said that video of the incident "immediately [went] up on social media to intimidate and harass the victim, in this case my client."

Ettman suggested a cellphone ban be instituted.

"Perhaps the solution is we have to restrict these kids from having their cellphones while in school, while they should be learning," Ettman told NBC New York.

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741 anytime.

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