Last Friday a boy named Keaton Jones from Knoxville, Tennessee gave us a heartbreaking reminder of how hard it is for kids to cope with bullying.
Keaton has called his mother Kimberly to pick him up from school for lunch. He did that often because he was afraid to have lunch at school. This time however the boy asked his mom to take a video of him and he wanted to share his experience with the world.
Keaton starts with the simple question “Why?” he really could not understand what drives those bullies, and how on earth being mean makes them feel good. “It’s not OK!” was all the boy could say about this.
Even though his mother’s face could not be seen in this video, one could clearly pick out the pain in her voice. She asked him to describe what the bullies have done to him. His voice started to tremble and tears began dropping down his cheeks, as he explained how they have made fun of him, called him ugly, said he has no friends, put milk on his head and slices of ham on his clothes, they have done this to other kids too.
When asked by his mother about how all this makes him feel, he answers that he doesn’t like what they do to him, and he also doesn’t like it when they do it to others, because “it is not OK”. With tears rolling down his cheeks, Keaton tries to send a message to others like him, saying that one should not let this bother him and just stay strong, and although hard it would probably get better one day. After that he turns his head away and the video is stopped.
Keaton’s mother Kimberly Jones posted the video later that day on Facebook, emphasizing that it was her son’s idea and adding that he is a boy like all others with his own imperfections, but he is a very good student. She pleas to all parents to talk to their children.
The post was shared by a couple of the Jones’s friends, with encouraging notes for Keaton. Soon more shares followed, and just like an avalanche this video went viral and accumulated over 15 million views in the span of two days in Facebook alone. The video was also migrated to Twitter where it was viewed and shared by hundreds of thousands more people. Since Keaton did not a Twitter account, he received all messages of support through his sister’s account.
Among hundreds of messages of support from all over the country, there were quite a few celebrities, athletes and public figures.
Dana White – President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship shared the video with his support for Keaton, stating that he wants to bring Keaton to the UFC Headquarters in Vegas to hang out.
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 pic.twitter.com/BR8c4ldDFc
— Dana White (@danawhite) December 10, 2017
Child actor Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven in Netflix’s “Stranger Things” also has tweeted his support for Keaton, telling him he wants to be his friend.
@Lakyn_Jones Keaton, this is so accurate. Why do people do this? I think your sooo cool Keaton! I wanna be your friend ( but srsly) ur freakin awesome ❤️
— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) December 9, 2017
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker recorded a video specially for Keaton, cheering him up with a poem from Buddha, saying he feels sorry for what Keaton has experienced, and inviting him to the game with the Jacksonville Jaguars on New Year’s eve.
— Delanie walker (@delaniewalker82) December 9, 2017
Former NFL player Donté Stallworth also joined with two tweets, one call to rally support for Keaton, while the second was call to all parents who allow this type of bad behavior in their children.
This may not be too popular but those kids who are bullying Keaton Jones are also kids. They should be confronted with lessons of love, not hostility. How many of their parents have no clue what their own children are up to at school? I assume most would not be very pleased.
— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) December 9, 2017
We can not fit all of the posts of support for Keaton here, but there are dozens more from public figures such as Martin Luther King III, The Colorado Rockies, Bernard Blake, DeAndre Washington and a lot more.
On Saturday both Keaton’s sister and mother posted their reactions to this unexpected result of the video they shared just a day earlier. They say they have been overwhelmed with messages and offers for support, and they can not find the time to respond to each one.
Publicly the Jones family didn’t not respond to any interview requests.