School superintendent who blamed bullied student’s family for her own suicide is forced to resign

A New Jersey school superintendent switched the blame to the family circumstances of a bullied 14-year-old student who took her own life after a video of her being beaten inside a school hallway was posted to social media.

When asked on Friday by the Daily Mail is any resources were provided Adriana Kuch while she was being bullied, superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides blamed Kuch’s alleged personal issues, accusing her of using drugs and having an adulterous father.

“Her father was having an affair at the end of her 6th grade. Her father married the woman he had an affair with and moved her into the house,” Parlapanides said. “Her grades and choices declined in 7th and 8th grade. We offered her drug rehab and mental services on five occasions but the father refused every time.”

“We tried helping her several times but mother’s suicide was a major reason she started making poor choices,” Parlapanides said.

The school’s failure to call police after Kuch was beaten was inline with school policy, Parlapanides claimed.

Four students who were involved in the attack have been criminally charged. Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said in a statement Friday that one student was charged with aggravated assault, another with harassment and two others with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. The names of those charged have not been released because they are minors. The students have been released from custody before their future court dates.

Kuch was found dead in her home on Feb. 3, after the video went viral.

From NBC News: Adriana’s father, Michael Kuch, said in Facebook posts and to NBC New York that several students attacked his daughter while walking with her boyfriend in the hallway.

He wrote on Facebook that a video of the fight was posted online and Adriana, a freshman, had been tagged in it. He said he believes it was posted to “make fun of her online.”

Kuch expressed outrage over the school’s handling of the incident, telling NBC New York that police were never called even though Adriana blacked out and had bruises on her body.

Parlapanides told NBC News on Friday that police were notified and that “teachers and safety officers intervened” in the fight. He declined to provide further details about the involved students or the fight.

“It is a tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Parlapanides said in an emailed statement.

Parlapanides’ comments sparked widespread outrage, prompting him to resign on Sunday, the same day as Kuch’s funeral.

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.