A Tennessee mother’s video of her son in tears after being bullied has gone viral after being viewed nearly 17 million times on Facebook. Kimberly Jones uploaded the video of her son, Keaton, on December 8. Jones says she recorded the tearful and emotional conversation at her son’s request. Kimberly wrote in the caption accompanying the clip, “For the record, Keaton asked to do this AFTER he had he me pick him up AGAIN because he was afraid to go to lunch. My kids are by no stretch perfect, & at home, he’s as all boy as they come, but by all accounts he’s good at school. Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me they’re kids were only nice to him to get him to mess with people. We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Keaton Says Bullied Poured Milk on Him Among Other Things
In the video, Keaton asks his mother, through tears, “Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to ’em? It’s not okay.” After the video spread across the internet, Kimberly Jones wrote, “I’m humbled by the voice my boy has been given, but he’s still just a little boy, and he’s a little boy who desperately wants acceptance.” Keaton goes on to cry about bullies pouring milk over him and putting ham in his clothes. Keaton adds, “Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to ’em? It’s not okay.”
Keaton says the bullies make fun of his nose and tell him that he has no friends.
2. Celebrities Have Taken to Social Media to Voice Their Support for Keaton
Support for Keaton began to spread to celebrities after the video was uploaded. University of Tennessee wide receiver Tyler Byrd was one of the first to tweet his support for Keaton saying, “We going to the middle school next Tuesday show young Man some love we will also TWITTER LIVE some of it so everyone can show there love and support.” While Titans tight end Delanie Walker posted this video:
In that clip, Walker reads a quote from Guatama Buddha saying, “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.” Walker adds, “You can be whoever you want to be. Sorry that bullying has been taking place at your school. Hopefully this video and all the tweets that are being put out there make awareness to stop bullying.” Walker invited Keaton and his family to the Titans/Jaguars game on December 31.
Here’s is the best of the rest of celebrity reactions:
3. Chris Evans Made Arguably the Best Offer to Young Keaton
The Avengers star Chris Evans made arguably the best offer to young Keaton. Evans wrote on Twitter, “Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year?”
Another celebrity who reached out to Keaton to make him a very special offer was UFC head honcho Dana White. White said in a Twitter posting that he was extending an invite to Keaton to come to Las Vegas. White wrote, “Meet Keaton Jones a very smart little boy who is being bullied at school. This video is heartbreaking!! I want to bring Keaton to Vegas and hang out at UFC Headquarters. If anyone knows how i can reach the family please let me know. Thank u everyone.”
4. Keaton Was Born With a Tumor
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that contrary to media reports, Keaton is a student at Maynard Middle School in Maynardville, Union County, not a school in Knox County. He had previously attended in Knox County but moved in the summer of 2017.
On October 18, Kimberly Jones wrote in a separate Facebook post that her son was at a birthday party and that one boy said he recognized Keaton from the scar that “goes all the way across his face.” Jones added that her son had been born with a tumor.
5. 1 in 3 U.S. Students Say They Have Been Bullied in School
According to Stop Bullying, between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 U.S. school students say that they have been victims of bullying. The website adds that middle school, the education level that Keaton is at, is where the most active bullying takes place. Due to more awareness of bullying as an issue, many believe that it is on the rise, though Stop Bullying says that studies suggest bullying is actually decreasing.
The Washington Post reported in August 2017 that an American Academy of Pediatrics study had noted a sharp rise in adolescent suicides that are inextricably linked to bullying. The study also noted that bullying that results in suicide is also linked to “excessive internet use.”