A boy in Knoxville, Tenn., brought the world face-to-face with the effects of bullying in a way few videos can.
This is Keaton Jones, he lives in Knoxville and he has a little something to say about bullying.pic.twitter.com/coyQxFp33V— Everything TN (@Everything_TN) December 9, 2017
Kimberly Jones originally posted the video of her son Keaton after picking him up from school early because he was afraid to go to lunch, in a post which has since been made private. A group of kids have been mercilessly bullying her son by calling him names, pouring milk in his hair, and putting food in his clothes. Keaton asked that she film his message to the world, and since Friday the video has gone viral. Here was her explanation of the video on Facebook:
“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.”
It didn’t take long before the sports world took notice, and it started with Tennessee Volunteers players, who are going to visit Keaton this week. At least these guys already have:
So I got the chance to spend the day with my new best bud Keaton. It was unbelievable to get to know him and realize that we have a lot in common. This dude is very special and has changed my life forever. Now I have the little brother I always wanted! God bless you my man pic.twitter.com/vMHVtnf2rC— Jarrett Guarantano✞ (@BroadwayJay2) December 11, 2017
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 #vols #StopBullying @cboystunna3 @BroadwayJay2 @JKShuttlesworth @smithtrey98— Tyler Byrd (@D1fuzzymuffin17) December 9, 2017
The Tennessee Titans found out, and immediately got to work to find Keaton and his family. Delanie Walker wants to have Keaton and his family to the Titans’ Dec. 31 game against Jacksonville.
Offensive tackle Taylor Lewan wants to visit Keaton at school too.
Please help me and the @Titans get Keaton’s information. We will not tolerate bullying. I’ll be seeing you real soon Keaton.— Taylor Lewan (@TaylorLewan77) December 10, 2017
The Cavaliers took notice, with JR Smith and LeBron James wanting to invite him to a game when they play in Memphis.
That’s a damn shame. Keaton if your around when we play in Memphis i would love to invite you to one of our games. Head up Champ! https://t.co/Moh9ObdgX8— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 11, 2017
Damn right! Bullies are straight up wack, corny, cowards, chumps, etc, etc! Keaton keep your head up buddy and push forward! You're the best https://t.co/pqDgay77l9— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 11, 2017
But that is only the beginning, because as the video kept traveling more and more people outside of Tennessee took notice. Keaton’s story sadly isn’t rare, and it’s up to everyone to stand against bullying.
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
Someone tell Keaton to come visit me and my family in New York City. I’ll introduce him to a few great kids & we’ll take him to a few Broadway shows. Can anyone get him that message?? Help us out. We got you Keaton. You’re strong as hec. And you’re gonna win in the end. Promise.— Alexander Dinelaris (@AlexDinelaris) December 9, 2017
Hey, Keaton Jones, do you like baseball? Can you let me know? I cover an an amazingly awesome team that you must see, in an amazingly awesome stadium. @Lakyn_Jones, please let me know. Keaton, you are an awesome boy & I have your back! Stay strong, buddy! https://t.co/zamE6UUi5Y— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) December 10, 2017
. I need Keaton Jones to appear on Chrisley Knows best , this Kid can change the world and I wanna help him do it .. #keatonbecomesachrisley let’s make this happen .. everyone use the hashtag .— Todd Chrisley (@toddchrisley) December 10, 2017
@Lakyn_Jones Hello, Keaton (via your sister)! You may have heard of my parents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (#MLK) and #CorettaScottKing. I try to honor them and their legacies. I’m so sorry about the pain you’re experiencing because of bullying. You matter. I love you.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) December 9, 2017
Update: I’ve got in touch with his sister and I’ll be talking to my man Keaton real soon to show my support for him on behalf of Bama nation.... we don’t condone bullying by any means and he needs to know we have his back! #RollTide #TideAgainstBullying https://t.co/dAf8Tv5Nc5— Alphonse Taylor (@SHANKK50) December 10, 2017
Nah man not cool. Not cool at all. Stuff like this breaks my heart. Those kids and their parents need to be held accountable. Stay strong Keaton! They make fun of you because they are insecure about themselves. You’re perfect because you were made in Gods image. https://t.co/uaj7J7OAv9— Damon Harrison (@BigDame900) December 10, 2017
I admire you so much Keaton, for speaking out against bullies everywhere. You are far stronger and tougher than anyone who thinks it’s fun to pick on and bully others for their differences. Stay strong, we are all supporting you! https://t.co/sMsVnGNAqj— Asa Butterfield (@asabfb) December 10, 2017
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 ❤️ https://t.co/LD7Q762bL9— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) December 9, 2017
People have set up a GoFundMe for Keaton, to set up a college fund. In less than 24 hours almost $20,000 has been donated — including a $2,000 donation from comedian Patton Oswalt.
This tweet really sums it all up:
Dear bullies of Horace Maynard Middle School,— P.J. Davis (@jeeeezpeej) December 10, 2017
I have a feeling that Keaton Jones kid you make fun of is about to have the greatest week of school that any kid ever had.