If you haven’t been near a computer screen today, Keaton is the middle schooler whose tearful question – “Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?” – just might become a rallying cry of the anti-bullying movement.
On Friday, the boy’s mother, Kimberly Jones, posted the video on her Facebook page, shortly after picking up Keaton from school because her son was too afraid and upset to go to lunch. The Knoxville, Tennessee, boy describes having milk poured on him and being called ugly for the head scars left from a tumor operation.
“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 ’em? It’s not okay. It’s not okay! People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault.”
In a message accompanying the video, Kimberly Jones wrote, “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. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me 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.”
Within 24 hours the post had been viewed more than 10 million times, a roster that included Hollywood actors and stars of hip hop, country music, athletes and Beltway pundits.
Celebrities respond to Keaton Jones
Celebrities respond to Keaton Jones
Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school… https://t.co/Q9xozT7NWQ
Little buddy, I was bullied when I was a kid. You are right #ItGetsBetter! You are my own personal super hero. Prot… https://t.co/nY1ujnVID3
Keaton-Don't waste time wondering why a bully would be so mean-They're sad people who think hurting others will mak… https://t.co/56dzuWMhX4
This is heartbreaking. But the response of support for him is a beautiful thing. Add me to your long list of friend… https://t.co/d4hV4JiqwP
Hi @Lakyn_Jones, could you pass this message along to Keaton? ❤ https://t.co/3l8P4fKAqW
I would love to come meet this guy and provide bodyguard services!!!Connect me as well!!!! Bullies suck!! I won’t s… https://t.co/RgtWM7O33A
Keaton, this is so accurate. Why do people do this? I think your sooo cool Keaton! I wanna be your friend ( but srs… https://t.co/jBK7ON2pMS
Keaton- hang in there. Keep studying and never lose sight of your dreams. I was bullied and called fat. It gets bet… https://t.co/R2rvoGV33J
#KeatonJones, your curiosity and kindness will overcome this moment and bring you many better days to come.… https://t.co/T6vXr2MbgB
.@lakyn_jones Hey Keaton, bullies are the ones with the problems NOT you. Many are bullied at home and pass it on.… https://t.co/gufKfZS88K
Keaton.. I feel your pain but here's a secret.. mean kids only bully those they are jealous of.. you hang in there.… https://t.co/Si6ULgk7BO
Keaton Jones you are awesome, I hope you know that hurt people hurt people. Your video touched my heart and I can’t… https://t.co/TGq6J69Tmm
buddy next time I make it home to Knox I'm going to walk into that lunchroom with you and watch the bullies say the… https://t.co/TzHSQ1vkXR
Come on buddy!! We have a place for you at the table!! I kinda wanna be your bestfriend 😍 #keatonbecomesachrisley https://t.co/8d5mDmacJX
. I need Keaton Jones to appear on Chrisley Knows best , this Kid can change the world and I wanna help him do it .… https://t.co/ozuipgWF6T
#StandWithKeaton #StopBullying ✊🏾
Damn right! Bullies are straight up wack, corny, cowards, chumps, etc, etc! Keaton keep your head up buddy and push… https://t.co/4acIigHqeT
Keaton Jones is a face and a voice for many. We need to lift each other up, and lead by example for children, who l… https://t.co/uyqKqYoM6U
.@Lakyn_Jones Dear Keaton, It’s too bad those kids really know how to waste food. And usually when someone makes fu… https://t.co/VfE1rzmiOV
Say lil Man U gotta friend in me for life hit me on dm so we can chop it up love is the only way to beat hate 👊🏾☝🏾
Keaton I, along with my @CSUFootball and @packers brothers wanted you to know that we stand against bullying.… https://t.co/zybymNBLAl
@Everything_TN This is my message for Keaton. Love you buddy https://t.co/pdYK5E7JRk
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“Stay strong, Keaton,” tweeted Chris Evans. “Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year?"
“Little buddy,” writes Ruffalo, “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.”
“Add me to your long list of friends Keaton,” tweeted Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Others reaching out include Patrick Adams (Suits), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Kevin Jonas, Cardi B and, well, take a look in the gallery above for a sample of a roster that’s growing by the minute.