After Keaton Jones’ bullying video went viral, he received more attention than ever thought he would. However, the backlash also ‘brought the bullies out,’ his mother said. And, he hasn’t been to school since. Here’s what we know.
Keaton Jones, 11, and his mother Kimberly Jones, revealed that Keaton has not returned to Horace Maynard Middle School in Maynardville, Tennessee since his bullying video went viral. The mother-son duo appeared on British talk show This Morning on Thursday, December 14, where said they said they aren’t sure when Keaton will return to the school where he was brutally bullied by classmates. “I actually haven’t been to school,” Keaton said. As for the his bullies? — Keaton continued to preach his original message: “Why do you bully? What’s the point of it? It makes me feel awful.”
Kimberly revealed that Keaton felt that he didn’t want to return his middle school “when the whole world wanted to come and eat lunch with him.” She further explained: “I’ve struggled anyway especially being this close to Christmas break, but after seeing how big it got, I mean it just seems like maybe we should let it die down a little bit before we made any decisions so that we could kind of have a reality of what life is gonna be like.”
One day, Keaton’s mother received a call from him asking what he should do about school lunch because he heard that some bullies, who had been tormenting him, were going to beat him up. Keaton was afraid to attend lunch, so he had his mother pick him up. When he got into the car, he cried hysterical and decided to have his mother film him to send a message to other kids who’ve been bullied, or are getting bullied. “Why do you find joy in taking good, innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them,” he said as he cried in the camera. “It’s not OK.” The video quickly went viral with millions of shares, and celebrities such as Selena Gomez, 25, Justin Bieber, 23, and many more reached out to Keaton with supportive messages. Some celebs and even sports stars invited him to games, red carpet premieres and more.
However, Keaton’s inspiring message was quickly clouded by online critics who probed his family’s social media accounts. Photos of his family posing with confederate flags were discovered on his mother’s Facebook page and the Jones family were accused of being racists. In the interview, Keaton’s mother said that the backlash has “brought the bullies out.”
She then explained her side of things, as she already has to ABC and CBS. “I’ve said over and over, I’m an adult, I know who I am,” Kimberly said. “I’m obviously sorry that it has offended so many people, but the backlash to my children…” Kimberly said during the morning show. “That’s something I wouldn’t wish on anybody.”
ABC News said the Tennessee school confirmed that there was indeed a bullying incident at the school. However, they would not get into the details of it. The school told the news outlet that the incident was not as rampant as you might think based on the video from Keaton.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Keaton should return to school?