School superintendent resigns, as New Jersey teens get upgraded charges over attack on student, 14, who committed suicide after viral video showed the bullies kicking, dragging and punching her in school hallway
Four female students at Central Regional High School in New Jersey, indicted over attack on a fellow student, receive upgraded charges
Victim, Adriana Olivier Kuch, 14, took her life two days after her savage beat down by a gang of four schoolyard bullies went viral
She was seen being kicked, dragged and punched in a school hallway by the all girl gang
The four attackers were initially were charged with third-degree assault charges, while one was additionally charged with disorderly conduct
The girls who were not named because they are minors, were also suspended indefinitely from school
Ocean County prosecutor announced Friday that those charges had been upgraded
One of the attackers is now charged with aggravated assault and could be tried as an adult, which attracts between 18 months and 10 years in prison, if convicted
Another girl is charged with harassment, while two have been with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault
The superintendent of a school district in New Jersey resigned Saturday, amid the fallout from a student suicide
Dr. Triantafillos Parlapanides tried to shift blame for Adriana Kuch’s suicide to her family, claiming her father’s “affair” and her own drug use was causing turmoil in her life
The New Jersey school superintendent who blamed the family of a 14-year-old student who killed herself after a fight in her high school has resigned.
Triantafillos Parlapanides, the head of the Central Regional School District, submitted his resignation after an emergency school board meeting Saturday, NBC reported.
“The Central Regional School District Board of Education has accepted the resignation of Dr. Triantafillos Parlapanides,” a notice posted to the district website Saturday night read.
It went on to say the district is “evaluating all current and past allegations of bullying” and would undergo “an independent assessment” of its anti-bullying policies.
Parlapanides tried to shift blame for Adriana Kuch’s suicide to her family, claiming her father’s “affair” and her own drug use was causing turmoil in her life.
On Friday the four teenage girls involved in the brutal and life altering beating of a 14-year-old high school freshman, Adriana Kuch, which her father says drove her to take her life, had their initial charges upgraded. The new charges were announced Friday by New Jersey authorities.
Adriana Olivier Kuch was found dead in her home in Bayville, New Jersey, on February 3, two days after an horrific video spread online showing her receiving a brutal beating from a group of bullies in the hallways of Central Regional High School.
The four alleged attackers were initially slapped with third-degree assault charges and one also charged charged with disorderly conduct after they were also suspended indefinitely from school.
In a new development Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced on Friday that the charges against the four teens had been upgraded.
One attacker is now charged with aggravated assault, and likely will be tried as an adult.
Another girl is charged with harassment.
The last two are charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.
The County prosecutor revealed that that, ‘Each juvenile and their guardian was served with a copy of their complaint and are released pending future court appearances.’
None of the teens behind the attack have been identified.
The sickening 20-second clip shows several students attacking the teen and hitting her with a water bottle as she walked with her boyfriend.
Bystanders are also seen laughing at Adriana after she was punched, kicked and had her hair pulled, while she lay in the fetal position on the floor of the school hallway.
One of the attackers could be heard yelling, ‘That’s what you get you stupid a** b****.’
According to state law, minors charged with more serious offenses, such as assault, can be tried in adult criminal court in New Jersey.
The decision to charge a minor offender as an adult lies with the prosecutor and the penalty for a conviction of aggravated assault in New Jersey is anywhere between 18 months and 10 years in prison.
Harassment and conspiracy charges against a minor are less likely to be tried in criminal court.
The victim’s father, Michael Kuch, on Friday accused the school’s board of being reluctant to expel his daughter’s attackers because they were fearful of a loss in revenue.
He said: ‘If my daughter is only worth $23,000 a head to them then because they would lose four students then what is anybody’s kid worth.’
Kuch’s family said the teen’s funeral, which was due to take place on Saturday, has now been canceled.
There were no members of Central Regional High School’s faculty present at the visitation on Friday evening.
Kuch said his daughter was not suspended in the days leading up to her death but was told not to return until injuries as she may have been subjected to further ridicule.
‘We can’t stop crying this is the last time I’m ever going to see her.
‘It was not supposed to happen we heard it over and over again your child isn’t supposed to go before you.’
Attracting public ire, school superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides tried to deflect blame away from his department following the tragedy.
‘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. Adding, ‘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.’
Michael Kuch slammed superintendent Parlapanides for his comments in the aftermath of his daughter’s death: ‘What’s insensitive is him going on social media and defending his actions and attacking other people,’ he said.
‘The administration needs to be completely shaken up and by shaken up I mean they need to be removed.’
‘I don’t know why he’s been there that long I have no idea why that man still has a job.’
Kuch Friday night revealed that he has sought legal counsel regarding the family’s options, adding that attorneys from across the country have been in contact with him.
The school district’s apparent insensitivity has not gone unnoticed, on Wednesday, as more than 200 students protested outside Central Regional High, walking out of class and demanding action over bullying which they believe is systemic across the school district.
‘Adriana took her own life because nobody at the school was able to help or care or step in,’ sophomore Roman Valez told ABC 7.
‘I would actually like to teach the people who bully what they’re actually doing and how it affects.’
The district made a statement about the 14-year-old student’s death and cited crisis counselors for those who needed them, but students claim they were not made aware of this in person.
‘Nobody was supposed to know Adriana killed herself,’ student Lance Jones told the outlet.
The school community claim that Adriana Kuch was not the only victim of bullying and said last April another student had been attacked in the school cafeteria. They suffered an injury which left them unable to fight back, according to Patch.
Others at the protest shared similar tales of worrying and disturbing bullying behavior claiming that the district did nothing about it.
A letter to parents from Superintendent Parlapanides stated: ‘We fully understand that students, staff and the community are hurting for the loss of such a young lady with a bright future.’
‘To ensure the health, safety and well-being for all students, there will not be any rallies in the future without prior administration approval otherwise action will be taken in accordance with policy.
‘It is time to start the healing process and we want to send our thoughts and prayers to the family.’
Then when students planned another walk out on Thursday, parents say, the students were threatened with disciplinary action.
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