Keaton Jones was so upset about being bullied at his Tennessee school that the young boy asked his mother to make a video about the abuse he suffered.
By the end of the day on Saturday, the video was seen by more than 10 million people and prompted an amazing response for the young boy.
Keaton is a student at Union County middle school in eastern Tennessee, and on Friday his mother got a call to pick him up from school because he was too afraid to go to lunch due to the intense bullying he faced, KnoxNews.com reported. When Keaton got in the car, he asked his mother to film a video about the abuse he suffered and a plea for the bullying to stop.
In the video, the sobbing boy explained that other students called him ugly, told him he had no friends, and dumped milk and ham on him in the lunch room. Keaton was shocked and couldn’t understand why he was being treated that way.
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it?” he said. “Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to ’em? It’s not okay.”
In her Facebook post, Keaton’s mother wrote that the video was Keaton’s idea.
“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,” Kimberly Jones wrote. “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.”
The video went viral immediately after Keaton’s mother posted in on Facebook, racing to more than 11 million views and shared by more than 250,000 people.
The video of Keaton Jones struck a chord with people across the country, with many of them offering support. Closer to home, the response was even more overwhelming. On Saturday afternoon, University of Tennessee wide receiver Tyler Byrd saw the video and said he and his teammates were planning to visit Keaton at school this week so he had someone to sit with in the lunchroom.
Delanie Walker, tight end for the Tennessee Titans, posted a video response where he quoted from Gautama Buddha and made another personal offer to help Keaton.
“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves,” Walker said. “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.”
As WBIR noted, Walker also invited Keaton and his family to attend the Titans’ season-ending game on December 31.
The response was not lost on Keaton Jones and his family. Late in the day on Saturday, his mother posted a follow-up message on Facebook saying they were “humbled” by the response to the video.