Keaton Jones, an elementary school-aged child from Tennessee, is one of the many kids struggling with bullying today—an escalating issue in our nation. Recent statistics indicate that more than 25% of students in the United States will experience bullying at some point in their lifetime.
Little Keaton gained nationwide attention after his mother posted a video of him tearfully sharing his experience with bullying. Kids at school called him “ugly” and told him he had “no friends.” Keaton really struggled with why kids choose to bully others. Watch the video below.
The video, originally posted by his mother on Facebook, quickly went viral with over 20 million views. His story was also picked up by multiple news outlets. Dozens of well-known celebrities even responded to Keaton Jones’ video, offering their support for Keaton and taking a stance against bullying.
However, it wasn’t long before Keaton’s family started facing a great amount of backlash.
A previous Facebook post by Keaton’s mother, which showed photos of the family with the Confederate flag, surfaced. After the pictures spread across the internet, several people called their family “racist,” some even claimed Keaton deserved the bullying, and rumors started that Keaton was bullied because he called students of color the “N” word. See the original post below.
Many came to the family’s defense, pointing out that these accusations have not been confirmed and how absolutely heartbreaking it is to see rumors circulating when a child is already suffering. On Tuesday, December 12th, Keaton’s mother appeared in an interview with her son to clear up the rumors.
She stated, “We’re not racist and people that know us know that. [The picture] was meant to be ironic and funny and extreme. I am genuinely truly sorry and if I could take it back I would.”
She continued, “If they want to hate me...that’s fine, but still talk to your kids. This is an epidemic.”
Little Keaton jumped in, “Don’t let it go to the point it did for me. You have friends, stand up for people that are being bullied if you see it. Don’t just watch it happen.”
Previously, Keaton’s older sister also responded to the rumors, assuring their family isn’t racist and their faith “can’t be shaken.”
Watch the full interview below:
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