Central Regional Schools superintendent resigns amid bullying policy backlash

The family of 14-year-old Adriana Kuch says she committed suicide after enduring bullying and being victimized in a videotaped assault by a group of girls in February.

News 12 Staff

Feb 11, 2023, 6:16 PM

Updated 427 days ago

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Dr. Triantafillos Parlapanides, the superintendent of the Central Regional School District, has resigned.
It comes after the father of student who died by suicide last week criticized the district for not doing enough to prevent the bullying his daughter faced and a published report that claimed the superintendent connected her death to her personal life and drug use.
The district posted a statement on its website:
“The Central Regional School District Board of Education has accepted the resignation of Dr. Triantafilos Parlapanides. The Central Regional family continues to mourn the loss of one of our children. We are all praying for the family and loved one and our entire community.”
It goes on to say that the district is “is evaluating all current and past allegations of bullying” and as will “undergo an independent assessment of the District's anti-bullying policies and ensure every necessary safeguard is in place to protect our students and staff.”
Dr. Douglas Corbett has been appointed as the acting superintendent.
The family of 14-year-old Adriana Kuch says she committed suicide after enduring bullying and being victimized in a videotaped assault by a group of girls in February.   
Police were not called after the attack and the superintendent said the normal policy for the school is suspension.   
Kuch’s story prompted student walkouts calling for changes to Central Regional High School’s bullying policies.   
Gov. Phil Murphy also recently expressed support of the Kuch family with a Tweet reading, “Tammy & I send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Adriana Kuch. Every student should feel safe and supported no matter where they are.” 
In the days following, reports circulated that the superintendent allegedly responded to questions by mentioning Kuch’s personal family life and possible drug usage as being tied to her suicide.   
Her father, Michael Kuch, spoke to News 12 about the allegations.   
“I'm focusing on getting the word out. I don't care about the slander. I know what happened with my daughter,” he said. “There's a policy in place that tells these officers they can't do their job. Why can't they do their job? Who is telling these cops? The superintendent has been doing his job for 15 years and has been failing miserably. I want answers to these questions. I want to know why the school is higher than the law.”   
In the aftermath of his daughter’s death, Kuch says dozens of families have approached him saying they've endured similar experiences with a lack of anti-bullying enforcement and policy issues within the Central Regional School District.   
“This has already been happening. Adriana wasn’t the first. Why didn’t anyone know about this before Adriana? Why does somebody have to die?” he said.  
Dianne Grossman, whose 12-year-old daughter also committed suicide due to school bullying in 2017, has been providing the Kuch family with guidance throughout the ordeal.  
“Adriana’s personal life and circumstances at home have nothing to do with the four girls that attacked her on school grounds, videotaped it and then posted it for the world to shame her,” said Grossman.  
Kuch also says he plans to pursue legal action. News 12 reached out to the former superintendent but have not heard back.


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