Keaton certainly has a ton of friends now!
Keaton Jones is an average sixth-grader at Horace Maynard Middle School in Tennessee, but he’s been the target of bullies who harass him during lunchtime. Keaton’s bullies pick with him to the point of him becoming afraid to stay at school throughout the day. His mother, Kimberly, had to pick him up from school one day just before lunch because of his growing anxiety. That same day, he asked her to record what he had to say while they were driving away.
In the video, Keaton asks, “Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them. It’s not okay.”
Keaton went on to explain that the kids at school poured milk on him and stuffed food in his clothing at the lunch table. He continued, “They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends.”
As Keaton teared up, he explained that other children at the school were also being bullied and that he hated it. He concluded, “People that are different, don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault. If you are made fun of just don’t let it bother you. Stay strong I guess. It’s hard. But it’ll probably get better one day.”
Kimberly wrote about how bullying has affected her son, saying, “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. Talk to your kids. Only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”
The school’s principal Greg Clay stated to Knox News that bullying at his school is “not as rampant as the video would have you believe.” He claimed that the children that harassed Keaton had been reprimanded weeks ago, and they were already planning on having a lecture on bullying.
However, the internet at large refused to let the issue go.
The video quickly spread, being viewed millions of times. Keaton was contacted by concerned people from all over the world. Some of them were famous, which attracted even more attention to Keaton’s situation.
Chris Evans invited him to the premiere of Avengers in Los Angeles. “Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better,” he said.
The Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo said, ”I was bullied when I was a kid. You are right #ItGetsBetter! You are my own personal super hero. Protect Yo Heart. You got a pal in the Hulk.” Even Star Wars legend Mark Hamill said, “They’re just jealous because you’re so smart & handsome.”
In addition to superhero actors, Keaton was commended by sports superstars including Dale Earnhardt Jr., LeBron James, and JR Smith. Hollywood royalty — Billy Baldwin, Eva Longoria, and Patricia Arquette — reached out to him. TV stars — Todd Chrisley, Dr. Phil, and Ryan Seacrest — reached out. Even, musicians — Cardi B, Kevin Jonas, and Katy Perry — showed Keaton some love.
The list of celebrities reaching out to Keaton is growing and growing.
Among the many words of encouragement and invitations, actress Hailee Steinfeld personally invited Keaton to be her date for the Pitch Perfect 3 premiere in Los Angeles.
Kimberley has deleted her social media because of the immeasurable response that she’s gotten from the video. Her friends and family are trying their best to keep Keaton’s new fans updated with how he’s doing though.
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