Keaton Jones’ viral bullying video was undeniably brave. But what took him so long to speak out? Watch him reveal the tragic reason he didn’t expose his bullies sooner.
While Keaton Jones‘, 11, video tug at America’s heartstrings after it went viral last week, many viewers probably wondered why the boy didn’t speak up sooner if he was being bullied THAT intensely at school. Turns out, Keaton was terrified of what his harassers would do if he told a teacher on them. After all, the bullies were already “pouring milk” on him and stuffing food in his clothes, and he didn’t want to make things even worse. He ended up making the now-famous emotional video after he had finally reached his breaking point. Click here to see pics of Keaton Jones.
“I had enough of it. They had said that someone was going to beat me up in lunch so I texted my mom and I said ‘what do I do here?'” Keaton told CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann in a new interview released on Dec. 12. When asked whose idea it was to make the video in the first place, as Keaton’s mom, Kimberly Jones, is the one who filmed it and posted it on social media, the 11-year-old said, “It was mine.” Keaton explained he was being targeted by five fellow middle-schoolers, and the reason he never reported their atrocious behavior before, was because he was scared out of his mind, which is totally understandable.
“You never complained to a teacher,” Mark says to Keaton, as the child shakes his head and says “no.” “I was afraid that they would for sure attack,” Keaton shared. “He became more and more agitated and didn’t want to go back to school,” Kimberly added. That’s when Keaton decided to shoot a video of himself encouraging other kids to “stay strong” in the midst of bullying. “I knew that it could be great and I knew that it could be awful, and it has been,” Kimberly said of the public response to her and her son’s video.
The “awful” part Kimberly is referring to, is that the spotlight on the Jones family has also brought attention to Kimberly’s prior social media posts — including one where she is holding a Confederate flag. Since, many have called the mom out for being a “racist.” “The only two photos — the only two photos on my entire planet that I am anywhere near a Confederate flag. It was ironic. It was funny,” Kimberley explained to the news outlet. To clarify, Mark asked Kimberly if her photos had any racist intent. “No. No. Absolutely not. I’ve said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn’t racist,” she said.
On the flip side, Keaton’s video has helped shed even more light on the horrors of bullying, reminding many that cafeteria bullying and physical torment is still just as alive and well as online bullying is. “It made me feel like I had accomplished something real. Something that could actually change the world,” Keaton said of his video. And he’s not wrong. His video has gained national attention, with celebrities speaking out and sharing messages of love and support for brave youngster.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — can you believe kids can be so cruel? Does Keaton’s story really pull on your heartstrings?