On Friday, after Kimberly Jones, from Knoxville, Tennessee, picked up her son, Keaton, from school because he was too afraid to go to lunch, she posted on Facebook a heartbreaking video of him crying in the car as he spoke of how he was being bullied. The video has gone so viral that it has amassed nearly 20 million hits, and has united celebrities on all sides of the political spectrum who were deeply moved by the boy’s plight.
Along with the video, Kimberley wrote:
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.
The conversation went like this:
Keaton: Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it? Why do you enjoy taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to? It’s not okay.
Kimberley: What did they say to you?
Keaton: They make fun of my nose; they call me ugly; they say I have no friends.
Kimberley: What did they do to you at lunch?
Keaton: Poured milk on me and put ham up my clothes, threw bread at me.
Kimberley: Is it just you? Or is it other kids, too, who feel that way?
Keaton: It’s other kids, too.
Kimberley: How’s that make you feel?
Keaton: I don’t like that they do it to me; enough, they shouldn’t, why should they do it to other people because it’s not okay. People who are different don’t need to be criticized about it because it’s not their fault. But if you are made fun of, just don’t let it bother you. They suck, I guess. Hard, but, probably get better one day.
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker invited the Jones family to an upcoming game; University of Tennessee wide receiver Tyler Byrd said he and several teammates plan to visit Keaton at school. Country music star Kelsea Ballerini tweeted that when she returns to Knoxville, she wants to be with Keaton to see the bullies apologize. Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted he wants Keaton to “add me to your long list of friends.” Snoop Dogg said on Instagram that Keaton “has a friend for life” and that “love is the only way to beat hate.”
The sports world chimed in:
Video of Keaton below: