Crying Tennessee student’s anti-bullying video goes viral, draws massive celebrity support

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KNOXVILLE, TN (WAFB) –

A young man has spoken out against those who bully him at school in a video clip that’s making waves on the internet.

On Friday, December 8, his mother posted a video after picking him up from school in Tennessee.

“Keaton asked to do this AFTER he had me pick him up AGAIN, because he was afraid to go to lunch,” her Facebook post read.

In the video, and on the verge of tears, Keaton Jones emotionally describes how he’s bullied at school.

“They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends,” Keaton told his mother in a car.

He even said sometimes things get physical at lunch.

“They poured milk on me and put ham down my clothes,” he recounted, fighting back tears. “Throw bread at me.”

Keaton also expresses confusion. Why do they bully?

“What’s the point of it?” he asked. “Why do they find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them? It’s not okay.”

Keaton said he also feels for others who suffer through similar situations.

“I don’t like that they do it to me. And I, for sure, don’t like that they do it to other people,” he told his mother. “People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault.”

The video, as of Sunday evening, had over 19 million views and over 384,000 shares since being posted just two days prior.

“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,” wrote Kimberly. “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.”

Keaton’s message went viral, catching the attention of several celebrities who wanted to reach out and offer their support.

“Keaton, this is so accurate,” wrote Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown on Twitter. “Why do people do this? I think your sooo cool Keaton! I wanna be your friend ( but srsly) ur freakin awesome.”

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

UFC President Dana White offered to bring Keaton to the UFC Headquarters in Las Vegas.

“Meet Keaton Jones a very smart little boy who is being bullied at school. This video is heartbreaking!!” White wrote on Twitter.

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

The University of Tennessee Vols sophomore wide receiver Tyler Byrd saw the video and tweeted Saturday afternoon that he and several teammates are planning to pay Keaton a visit at the school Tuesday.

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

Shortly thereafter, Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker posted a video of himself reading a quote by Guatama Buddha.

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves,” he read, before adding, “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.”

@DonteStallworth@Lakyn_Jones hopefully my video and the tweets that Keaton have been getting brings awareness to bullying and how serious it is in our school system pic.twitter.com/1Dujv3RxA5

— Delanie walker (@delaniewalker82) December 9, 2017

Walker offered Keaton and his family four tickets to watch the team play on December 31.

Retired race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in a tweet that the video was heartbreaking and that Keaton could add him to his list of friends.

This is heartbreaking. But the response of support for him is a beautiful thing. Add me to your long list of friends Keaton. https://t.co/NKasvdo00u

— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) December 10, 2017

In a Saturday afternoon Facebook post, Jones responded to the outpouring of support for her son.

“Friends, overwhelmed is the understatement of the world right now. I love each of you for what you are doing,” she said, adding that she could not read or respond to all of the messages and invitations to join groups that had inundated her mailbox since the viral video.

“I’m humbled by the voice my boy has been given, but he’s still just a little boy, and he’s a little boy who desperately wants acceptance, that I have to try to find a way to navigate him through the difference in true acceptance and attention,” she wrote. “I know God has His hand in this and I trust that the right things will happen in the right time. In the meantime, bear with us.”

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