MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The 11-year-old boy in the now-viral video that’s capturing hearts around the world is speaking out about the huge response.
In the video, posted to Facebook by his mother, Keaton Jones talks through tears about how he is bullied and doesn’t understand why people treat others like that.
“They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends,” he says while sobbing in the video. “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 them?”
On Monday, he told News 2’s sister station WATE that the video is hard to watch.
“It takes me back to whenever those things happened. Yeah… it’s hard to watch it,” he said.
The day the video was recorded, he had texted his mom for help before she picked him up.
“Someone had walked up to me and said that someone was going to beat me up. I texted my mom, she said that had gone on far too long, and appeared at the school,” Keaton told WATE.
The video went viral overnight, and the response was greater than they could’ve imagined.
Famous athletes, actors, actresses, and political figures from Donald Trump Jr. to Governor Bill Haslam spoke out on social media to offer the 11-year-old strength and support.
“It was incredible,” he said of the response.
Some even showed their support in person, like Vols quarterback Jared Guarantano.
“Wow. I don’t… ‘Wow’ is what I think whenever I think of that. I just think, ‘Wow this is been amazing,’” Keaton said.
The 11-year-old told WATE that he knows speaking up is hard, and sometimes victims of bullying don’t talk about it because it’s scary.
He says even with the support he’s received, he was scared, too.
“I was prepared that there would be negatives and positives to that,” said Keaton.
WATE also talked to Keaton’s mom about some of the negative comments they’ve received on social media, and she says her kids’ well-being and safety are her focus.