Video of Bullied Kids Goes Viral, Proves Controversial, Raises Money

It's been a long weekend for this heartbreaking video of a child crying over a bullying incident.
By Alex Firer

  • A middle schooler’s anti-bullying video went viral, and he found himself the admiration of stars nationwide.

    Mother Kimberly Jones picked up her son Keaton early from middle school, because he’d been bullied. Again. Keaton asked his mother to take a video so he could explain how he was feeling.

    Though it was painful to recount, Kimberly asked Keaton to explain what the bullies do to him.

  • On Kimberly’s original video, which has now been made private, she 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.”

    The emotional video went viral over the weekend, garnering 3.4 million views on the “Love What Matters” Facebook page, and millions more on Twitter. Reaction on social media was overwhelmingly supportive of Keaton.

    One of the first people to share the video on Twitter, Elijah Johnson, wrote, “YALL HE IS SHAKING!!!!! This is what is going on in these schools. What about the ones who don’t tell someone? THIS IS WHY I CANT STAND A FUCKIN BULLY!!!”

    Keaton’s sister Lakyn has thanked everyone on Twitter who has reached out for their support. She wrote, “This is my little brother. Thank you for spreading awareness. Apologies again to those tweets I can’t get to. My mentions are flooded and I’m trying my best. We thank everyone for the love and support.”

    Celebrities have been reaching out as well.

    Captain America star Chris Evans wrote on Twitter, “Stay strong, Keaton. 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?”

    He also received messages of support from Ryan Seacrest, Millie Bobby Brown, Mark Ruffalo, Dr. Phil, Mark Hamill, Snoop Dogg, and Billy Baldwin, a person whom I’m sure Keaton has heard of.

    Of course, very few stories in 2017 have come without a little controversy, and this one is no different. Activist Tariq Nasheed pointed out that Keaton’s mother, Kimberly, may have some issues with bullying herself.

    He wrote, “That viral video of #KeatonJones talking about being bullied is heartbreaking, and I feel sympathetic towards that child. But his mom, Kimberly, on the other hand, is a suspected racist who makes very problematic posts bullying Black protesters #TheIrony.”

    He’s talking about photos on Facebook featuring the Confederate flag and posts denigrating Black Lives Matter protesters.

    She wrote, “Dear butthurt Americans, if you aren’t bleeding, no bones are sticking out & you can breathe, STOP crying! For the love, some folks clearly never picked a switch. And before y’all start talking to me about metaphorical, emotional, financial or historical blood & brokenness, Don’t. Join a group. #yallneedsomeporchtherapy”

    MMA fighter Joe Schilling posted a conversation he had with someone claiming to be Kimberly Jones. He wrote to her, “This is an opportunity for you, not your son. You just used your son’s pain as a platform. Really really sad and it’s your son who will suffer smfh. I’m no longer interested in being involved whatsoever. Shame on you.” The Kimberly Jones account replied, “what happened to us whites sticking together and helping one of another against the predator?”

    Now, Schilling acknowledges that he can’t confirm the person on the other end of the account is Kimberly Jones, though the family hasn’t yet denied it.

    The most chilling accusation, however, is against Keaton himself, though it’s strictly in the rumor department. Candy_AppleRed1 on Twitter said, “The person who revealed the photos of Keaton racists family last night also said that Keaton repeatedly called a kid in school the n-word on several different occasions. And that the kids got on Keaton’s ass to make him stop. So is it really Bullying…”

    Lakyn Jones responded to the allegations of racism on Twitter writing, “My family will continue to support each other. You all can hate and tweet all you want but our faith cant be shaken.”

    Racism accusations aside, the video has certainly struck a chord online, and a GoFundMe page set up on Kimberly Jones’ behalf has raised $60,000 in under two days.

    Regardless of who the real bully is here, there’s undoubtedly still wisdom in Keaton’s emotional words. Bullying isn’t right, and those who are bullied need to stay strong. It will get better.

    What do you think though? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.