(NewsNation) — Professional wrestler Chris Jericho is best known for his showmanship in the ring, but now he’s using his platform to shine a spotlight on bullying in schools.
The issue is deeply personal for Jericho, who says he was bullied as a kid and recently saw his niece treated the same way.
“I remember the feeling of when you get bullied,” he said in an interview with NewsNation on Friday. “It’s embarrassing, it’s completely draining mentally. It’s a terrible place to be.”
Over the weekend, Jericho shared a video that shows a young girl being punched repeatedly as a crowd of children stand by. Jericho said the girl in the video is his niece.
He said the school had been previously notified of the bullying two weeks before the incident but did nothing to stop it.
So Jericho took to Twitter, where he has 3.6 million followers, to show just how brutal bullying can be. He called on Hillsborough County Public Schools to take action.
In a statement provided to NewsNation affiliate WFLA, the school district said administrators acted immediately once the incident occurred and that there was more to the story that could not be shared due to student privacy concerns.
But Jericho thinks schools need to be more proactive so that violence can be prevented before it occurs.
“Patting yourself on the back and saying, ‘We took action the moment the incident happened’ is not good enough. It should’ve been stopped,” he said.
Despite his macho persona, Jericho said the bullying he faced as a kid has stuck with him, even today.
“The physical wounds heal faster than the mental wounds, which might never go away,” he said. “They still exist for me.”