In recent years, the prevalence and destructive force of bullying has received a lot more awareness and attention in the public sphere. That’s partially thanks to the work of anti-bullying activists and advocates, and partially thanks to the internet enabling the voices of the bullied themselves to reach more ears than they once could. A prime example of the latter is currently sweeping through social media, with a video of a bullied Tennessee child going viral.
The child’s name, by all accounts, is Keaton Jones. He was filmed by his mother discussing bullying, seemingly moments after he was bullied, and the footage has drawn a lot of attention with celebrities, professional athletes, and everyday people speaking out in support.
In the video, Jones talks about getting bullied at school for his looks and being told he doesn’t have any friends.
“Why do you find joy in making innocent people, and finding a way to be mean to them,” Jones asked, fighting through tears. “They make fun of my nose, they call me ugly, they say I have no friends.”
“It’s not OK,” Jones said. “People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault. But if you are made fun of, just don’t let it bother you. Stay strong, I guess. It’s hard, but it’ll probably get better one day.”
Keaton’s mother, Kimberly Jones, explained what happened in a Facebook post earlier this week, saying Keaton asked to be picked up because he was afraid to go to lunch at his school. Here’s the video she posted, a video that’s been viewed more than 16 million times.