A statewide review or reexamination of anti-bullying efforts in schools could be a direct response to the recent suicide of a 14-year-old in Ocean County, according to Gov. Phil Murphy when asked about the issue on Tuesday.

Bayville resident Adriana Kuch took her own life on Feb. 3, shortly after she was involved in an in-school assault that was videoed and shared to social media.

Gov Murphy on NJ bullying review after Adriana Kuch suicide (via Facebook)
(Gov. Phil Murphy via Facebook)

At an event at a Newark high school, Murphy was asked by a reporter if there would be “anything from the state in terms of bullying in that school in particular or just statewide.”

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“I can’t say specifically — but the answer will be yes, we always look in the mirror after something like this. And this is an awful, awful, awful tragedy,” Murphy said, remembering “this precious little 14-year-old girl.”

On Saturday, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer confirmed to the Associated Press that four juveniles were facing charges after the apparent fight caught on video.

One teen was charged with aggravated assault, two were charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and the fourth was charged with harassment.

All four were released to their families, pending future court appearances.

Central Regional High School (Berkeley Township NJ, Google Maps)
Central Regional High School (Berkeley Township NJ, Google Maps)

Murphy says existing NJ bullying law has 'big impact but clearly not a universal impact'

The governor said that the bullying bill of rights law he signed early last year — dubbed Mallory’s Law, in remembrance of 12-year-old Mallory Grossman — “had a big impact but clearly not a universal impact.”

"Mallory's Law" revised provisions required in school district's anti-bullying policy and allows for the civil liability of guardians of any minor found guilty of harassment or cyber-harassment.

The Central Regional High School superintendent resigned last weekend after the Daily Mail published his responses to questions about the fight and subsequent suicide — in which he said Adriana had a troubled history and downplayed potential accusations of bullying.

“We can’t react to something with nothing,” Murphy added.

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