Gov. Murphy weighs discipline on Bayville high school after teen's death, bullying incidents

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Thursday, February 23, 2023
Gov. Murphy mulls discipline on high school after student's death
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy raised questions about who should be running Central Regional High School in Bayville after the death of Adriana Kuch.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Following the death of a 14-year-old New Jersey high school student who took her own life earlier this month after getting bullied, the governor says he's keeping all options on the table as to how to crack down on the school.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy raised the question about who should be in charge of running Central Regional High School in Bayville.

"It just rips your heart out and it's extremely angering," Governor Murphy said.

On Thursday, the governor weighed in on the heartbreaking death of 14-year-old Adriana Kuch.

The Bayville high school student died by suicide two days after a video of her being attacked by classmates was posted on social media.

One of the four teens, on Thursday, faced upgraded charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault in addition to charges previously filed by the Ocean County Prosecutors Office, ranging from harassment to aggravated assault.

"It's an awful tragedy," Murphy said. "Ii can't express that more strongly. It's awful, this precious little girl, her family. It feels like a culture of bullying."

That culture of bullying attracted hundreds to a school board meeting last week. The widespread allegations and outrage, may now prompt the state to revisit its existing anti-bullying laws.

There was fury and a deep suffocating pain present at a school board meeting in Bayville, New Jersey, after a student died by suicide. CeFaan Kim has more on the emotional night.

"I was asked if everything was on the table and the answer is it has to be on the table," Murphy said. "Now that's separate than the channel led by the Ocean County prosecutor."

The fallout forced the Bayville school superintendent to step down, but he will continue to earn nearly $200,000 this year. This, even after disclosing personal information about Kuch after her death.

"When you hear that the superintendent after what he didn't do and then said, is still on the payroll is outrageous," Murphy said.

Still, the governor believes New Jersey has the strongest anti-bullying laws in the country. Though after the death of Adriana Kuch, many will disagree.

"We do have, I think, the nation's strongest anti-bullying laws," he said. "It's pretty clear we need to do more and we're open minded to doing more. I promise you."

If you are experiencing suicidal, substance use or other mental health crises please call or text the new three-digit code at 988. You will reach a trained crisis counselor for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also go to


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