NJ student bullied like Adriana Kuch a year before teen’s suicide after school assault filmed: Lawsuit

This story may contain details that are disturbing. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

A student in the same New Jersey high school as Adriana Kuch reported a near-identical bullying situation a year before Adriana died by suicide after being assaulted and harassed by classmates.

A student at Central Regional High School dealt with a similar incident in January 2022, where her hallway assault was filmed and uploaded to social media, which sparked a relentless blitz of hateful comments, Fox News Digital has learned. 

Details of last year’s incident were outlined in a lawsuit filed against the school in Bayville in October 2022. 

One of the lawyers representing the student in that lawsuit, Jonathan Ettman, told Fox News Digital that these bullying incidents are “planned, they’re plotted … because (the students are) seeking notoriety.”

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Adriana Kuch in an undated photo.

Adriana Kuch in an undated photo. (Michael Kuch)

“They want to further bully and shame the victim, so they have their cellphones at the ready,” said Ettman, who believed this client’s case would be a tipping point that would force change.

But it didn’t. 

A year later, Adriana, a 14-year-old freshman, was beaten by girls in the hallway of the same New Jersey high school. Other students recorded it on their cellphones and uploaded it on social media, where it went viral. 

The alleged assailants and people Adriana didn’t even know reportedly posted spiteful comments and messages that harassed and mocked her before she was found dead in her home two days later on Feb. 3.

Her death was ruled a suicide.

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Adriana Kuch's face was bloodied and bruised following an ambush that occurred in the school's hallways on Feb. 1.

Adriana Kuch’s face was bloodied and bruised following an ambush that occurred in the school’s hallways on Feb. 1. (Michael Kuch)

Adriana’s father, Michael Kuch, told Fox News Digital on Thursday that his daughter showed him videos of people taunting her and threatening her on TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat.

Adriana reportedly faced months of bullying at the local high school, her dad said.

The MO in Kuch’s case was the same MO followed in the January 2022 incident, according to the lawsuit and interview with Ettman. 

Adriana's Kuch's bruised legs after she was bullied at the local high school.  

Adriana’s Kuch’s bruised legs after she was bullied at the local high school.   (Michael Kuch)

The victim in the January 2022 incident, who isn’t named because of her age, was threatened and harassed online for months by students that she didn’t know, Ettman said. 

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Fearful for her safety, he said she told school district officials but they didn’t take any action, according to the lawyer.

“Nothing was done,” Ettman said. “They didn’t call the police, they didn’t take it seriously, apparently, and sure enough these girls came through on their promise and assaulted my client.”

The school district hasn’t responded to Fox News Digital’s emailed requests for comment.

Adriana Kuch is remembered as "a beautiful girl who was happy, funny, stubborn, and strong."

Adriana Kuch is remembered as “a beautiful girl who was happy, funny, stubborn, and strong.” (Michael Kuch)

The pervasive bullying in schools isn’t limited to the Central Regional School District, Ettman said. 

He and his partners at the law firm cover most of New Jersey, and he said “their phones have been ringing nonstop” with hazing and bullying cases involving social media.

These behaviors have seeped down into the elementary schools and involving children as young as 8 and 10 years old, who have fake TikTok accounts for this reason. 

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“We handle cases through the state of New Jersey. We see it everywhere. It’s running rampant,” Ettman said. “Same type of bullying with kids plotting with their friends at the ready with their cellphones and then they assault the victim and they film it and they post it. That’s the pattern.”

Like the student who Ettman is representing, Kush’s dad said he went to the school district after the Feb. 1 assault on Adriana, but “no action was taken by anyone.”

Adriana Kuch's father is seeking justice after she died by suicide following bullying in school.

Adriana Kuch’s father is seeking justice after she died by suicide following bullying in school. (Michael Kuch)

Michael Kuch told Fox News Digital that he believes his daughter would still be alive if the school district took action, and he’s planning to take legal action of his own.

“The more I continue to see, the more I want to fight for all kids against schools like this,” he said. “Complete incompetence from top to bottom.”

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But Friday night will be one of mourning when visiting hours are held for the Kuch family and Adriana’s friends.

The student and family who Ettman is representing wanted to send their condolences to the Kuch family and offer their support. 

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As of Thursday evening, three students who were involved in the video incident were charged with third-degree felony assault and a fourth with disorderly conduct. All four students involved in the attack have been expelled from the local high school.

The district attorney’s office didn’t respond to Fox News Digital’s questions on Friday.

Sarah Rumpf, Fox News Digital Production Assistant, contributed to this report. 

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