Like most children, 11-year-old Keaton Jones just wants school to be a place where he can learn, make friends, and be himself. Instead, its a place where is he is physically and emotionally tormented on a regular basis by some of his peers.
The bullying had recently got so bad that he had to call his mom to pick him up early from school.
“Keaton asked to do this AFTER he had me pick him up AGAIN because he was afraid to go to lunch,” she says. “My kids are by no stretch perfect, and at home, he’s as all-boy as they come, but by all accounts, he’s good at school.”
Some other students had poured milk on him and stuffed lunchmeat down his clothing and were threatening to beat him up. When his mother Kimberly picked him up, they decided to shoot a video to show the impacts of bullying.
In his video, Keaton asked a question that so many of us wonder. Why do some people take joy in harming innocent people, especially children?
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it? Why do they find joy in taking innocent people and find a way to be mean to them?” he asks in his video. “It’s not OK… People that are different don’t need to be criticised about it. It’s not their fault. If you are made fun of, just don’t let it bother you. Just stay strong, I guess. It will probably get better one day.”
The video of Keaton’s tearful plea ended up going viral on the internet.
Since then a slew of celebrities and other figures have reached out to support Keaton including Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King, Donald Trump Jr., actor Christ Evans, and others. Keaton was invited to a Tennessee Titans football game and got to hang out with the team’s quarterback.
He was also invited to Pixar Animation Studios, and UFC headquarters, according to CNN. There was even a GoFundMe campaign set up for the family. Of course, some people reacted to the video in a negative manner and even accused Kimberly of being racist after photos surfaced of her with a Confederate Flag that she said was meant to be “ironic.”
Kimberly says that the viral superstardom has been a mixed bag.
“I knew that it could be great, and I knew that it could be awful,” said told CBS This Morning. “And it has been.”
Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that innocent children have their self-esteem ripped to shreds, sometimes permanently, due to the actions of others in a place where they are supposed to be safe.
Stopbullying.gov reports that 49 percent of children in grades 4 through 12 reports being bullied by another student at least once during the past month. These are facts that need to change and that change starts with the behavior of the adults who surround our children and impact their behavior.
You can watch Keaton’s viral video below and please SHARE this with your friends and family.
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