HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Chris Jericho made a name for himself as a professional wrestler. Now, he’s calling attention to what he says is a bullying problem in schools.
Jericho, whose real name Chris Irvine, said he was bullied as a child and he never got over it. Now, he said his own niece has become the victim of a bully, too.
A video being circulated on social media shows a young girl being beaten again and again as a crowd of children cheers on her attacker.
“When I saw the video, it’s so brutal. It’s really short, but it’s very unsettling. She was getting, as we say in MMA, ground and pounded, just mounted and punched over and over again, but also because there was a group of kids around cheering the bully, shall we say,” said Jericho.
He said the bully threatened his niece in school two weeks prior to the incident and the principal was informed, but no action was taken.
“To me, that’s the real problem here. Not the fact that the beat down happened, which was awful, but the fact they were warned of it and the fact the bully, the perpetrator, said she was going to do it two weeks prior,” said Jericho.
The Hillsborough County School District issued a statement on the incident saying:
There is more to this story that we cannot share because of student privacy laws. As soon as this incident occurred, administrators immediately acted, and discipline was handed down. In a situation like this, discipline can range from out of school suspension to expulsion. The administrators at this school and all district schools do not tolerate disrespectful behavior between students, threatening language, physical altercations, encouragement of conflict through social media or any other behaviors that put the emotional and physical well-being of students at risk.
Hillsborough County School District
Jericho maintains the bullying should have been stopped before the fight started.
Now, he said he’s drawing attention to the issue in the hope other children can be protected.
“It’s for other kids who were victimized that are bullied too. This needs to be dealt with. The spotlight needs to be put on this because it’s our responsibility to make sure our kids are safe, physically and mentally,” said Jericho.