Stephen Trupp/Star Max
June 22, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

If the Board of Education is ever looking for a celebrity spokesman, it shouldn’t turn to Chris Rock. He says the reason comedy and music are in bad shape today is the poor state of schools. ”Everything sucks because schools suck,” he said at a New York City press conference to announce his new live CD (in stores July 13) and his upcoming HBO stand-up special (airing July 10) — both named ”Bigger & Blacker.” ”There are people who don’t read as well, so they don’t write as well, so they’re gonna write bad music or bad jokes. Smarter people write smarter s—.”

But for all his pro-education rants, Rock isn’t exactly the poster boy for scholars-are-us. ”I never liked school,” he said. ”I pretty much learned everything I needed to know by the fourth grade. When I get my checks, and sign them and do the balance… I learned all that s— in the fourth grade. The rest is experience. That’s my new ad campaign: ‘Fourth grade…at least!”’

One of the things that Rock learned in his self-administered education is the effective use of four-letter words. And he disagrees with anyone who says his language is a bad influence on kids. ”There are no bad words, just bad thoughts,” he said. ”You can spread evil thoughts without cursing, and you can say good things and curse. Like, ‘Hey, kids, go to f—ing church.’ Is that a bad message? Or, ‘Don’t do f—ing drugs, you f—ing idiot.’ Wouldn’t you like to see that on TV every night?”

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