On TV, Chris Rock documents his adolescent experiences in a way that's both painful and humorous. But in real life the consequences are not nearly as funny.
One of the recurring themes in the hit sitcom Everybody Hates Chris is the bullying that young Chris consistently faces--not only at the hands of his peer Caruso, but also the verbal jabs made by the staff at Corleone Junior High School and later on Tattaglia High School. On TV, these misadventures serve as raw material for the show's humor.
In real life, bullying is a social problem that has reached epidemic proportions. Bullying has long plagued junior high and high school students, but the problem is rarely addressed by adults. According to the well-respected website StopBullying.gov, those who are bullied:
·Have decreased academic achievement (GPA and standardized test scores) and school participation.
·Are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
·Are more likely to retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of the 15 school shooting cases studied during the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied. Bullying has also been implicated in recent cases of teen suicide.
In Chris’s situation, the longer he remains in school the bleaker his reality becomes. During Season 1, Rock comments that at Corleone Junior High School, "The kids hated me. The teachers hated me. Even the lunch ladies hated me." By the end of the series he decides to drop out of school to pursue a career in comedy. Rock was talented and creative enough that he could turn his misfortune into comedic material, but most bullying victims aren’t as fortunate.
For more information on how you can stop bullying in your school, log on to StopBullying.gov to learn more about what you can do to help prevent this social disease.