WASHINGTON - Kevin McCarthy usually shares interviews with the stars as he checks out their latest movies. But this week, an interview Kevin did about the upcoming movie, 'Central Intelligence,' struck a chord with many of you online.
Part of the movie deals with bullying, and during his interview with film stars Kevin Hart and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Kevin revealed that he was the victim of bullying in middle school and high school.
Throughout his time in high school, Kevin said he was a frequent target of bullies. He says looking back - he regrets not standing up for himself. At the time, however, he felt there was no other option.
"I was in a classroom in tenth grade and this kid behind me was punching me in the back of the head every time the teacher would turn around to write on the board," Kevin said recalling one experience with a bully. "People literally were sitting in front of me and could see this happening - and no one did anything about it," he said. When he finally confronted the bully by standing up and yelling at him, Kevin said he was the one that was punished for causing a disturbance in class.
He was picked on so regularly, he said, that his classmates thought it was normal and did little to help. It became so bad that his parents even withdrew him from class and put him in a different school to try and solve the problem.
"My first memory is sixth grade," he said. Some of it was physical, he said, most of it was verbal. All of it was emotional.
ADVICE FOR YOUR KIDS
Kevin shared his story with Johnson and Hart - both fathers to younger children – to see how they felt about the bullying issue.
"You have to stand up for yourself," Johnson said adding that communication between parents and their children is key to determining if they are being bullied. "Not everybody is willing to stand up and throw punch or get physical. But do you have to communicate, because often times people who are getting bullied don't say anything. Then it just grows and grows and grows and before you know it - then sometimes the outcome is bad."
"In life you need obstacles," Hart said. "You don't want to shelter a child from what's out there in the real world. Does bullying exist? Yes. Is it right? No - not at all."
Hart agreed with Johnson and said the first thing your child needs to know is to stand up for themselves. "Even outcome is bad, knowing that you stood up for yourself and that you made sure that they understood that you're not a punching bag…that's enough for some people."
"At the end of the day, you don't let anybody hit you. You hit them back," Hart added. "Losing is losing. I lost several fights, man"
After hearing Kevin's story, FOX 5's Holly Morris said she would have three rules for her child. "Stand up for yourself; you better not ever be a bully; and I don't want to you stand by and watch someone else get bully. I wouldn't want my child to be one of those children watching you getting hit in the head.
"It's real simple. I've always told my kids even from young age you have to defend yourself," said Wisdom Martin. "Don't instigate, if somebody hits you, you hit them back. I'll deal with the principal. Don’t be a victim."
"If I ever have kids, the message I'm going to say, don't physically fight back but stand up for yourself verbally and make sure you set a precedent that you're not going to be a punching bag," Kevin told us in studio. "My problem was I set a precedent I was a punching bag all throughout school, so people thought it was okay to pick on me."
If you are a victim of bullying you can find help online at: https://www.stopbullying.gov/index.html
You can also reach out to Kevin online: https://www.facebook.com/KevinMcCarthyFOX
And remember…it does get better…especially when you have friends like 'The Rock' and Kevin Hart in your corner! Check out their NSFW message to the kids who bullied Kevin McCarthy back in school!
WARNING: VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS LANGUAGE THAT SOME MAY FIND OFFENSIVE