A video on Facebook has gone viral for the message an East Tennessee boy has about bullying.
In the since-removed video Kimberly Jones posted on Friday, you see Keaton tearfully begin by asking, “why do they bully?” That video has been viewed more than 22 million times.
Keaton questions how bullies can find joy by picking on others.
He goes on to describe his experience from the day, including how other students poured milk on him and put food down his clothes.
“We all know how it feels to want to belong,” Kimberly Jones said in her post, “but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”
He says he is not the sole victim of bullying at his school, and that other students are targets too.
Keaton says people who are different shouldn’t be criticized for that. Keaton ends the video by saying “it will probably get better one day.”
As of Monday morning, a crowdsourcing page had raised more than $46,000 for the boy.
Nearly 450,000 people had shared Kimberly Jones’ original Facebook post as of Monday, and numerous people have stepped up for Keaton on social media, including Tennessee Vols quarterback Jarrett Guarantano.
Please let his mother know that we are trying to reach out. Keaton has some friends on the football team that would love to spend some time with him. https://t.co/tj1ZqDM4KD— Jarrett Guarantano✞ (@BroadwayJay2) December 9, 2017
Guarantano later tweeted out a photo of him with Keaton.
So I got the chance to spend the day with my new best bud Keaton. It was unbelievable to get to know him and realize that we have a lot in common. This dude is very special and has changed my life forever. Now I have the little brother I always wanted! God bless you my man pic.twitter.com/vMHVtnf2rC— Jarrett Guarantano✞ (@BroadwayJay2) December 11, 2017
Vols wideout Tyler Byrd also weighed in.
We going to the middle school next Tuesday show young Man some love we will also TWITTER LIVE some of it so everyone can show there love and support #vols #StopBullying @cboystunna3 @BroadwayJay2 @JKShuttlesworth @smithtrey98— Tyler Byrd (@D1fuzzymuffin17) December 9, 2017
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker had a message for Keaton, as well.
@DonteStallworth @Lakyn_Jones hopefully my video and the tweets that Keaton have been getting brings awareness to bullying and how serious it is in our school system pic.twitter.com/1Dujv3RxA5— Delanie walker (@delaniewalker82) December 9, 2017
The Titans’s social media manager tweeted, offering the services of Titans’ offensive lineman Taylor Lewan as a bodyguard for Keaton.
I need someone to connect me with this child’s family, please. I’ve been told he is from Knoxville.
Mr. Lewan is against bullying and willing to provide his services as a bodyguard.
Do your thing, Twitter! Connect us. #TitanUp pic.twitter.com/OkrQP0UTqe— Nate Bain (@natebain) December 9, 2017
Other celebrities have attempted to reach out and support Keaton, including Donald Trump, Jr., Sen. Bob Corker, Chris Evans, Kelsea Ballerini, Bernice A. King, UFC founder Dana White and Noah Schnapp from the popular Netflix show, Stranger Things.
This boy is incredibly brave and the video really got to me. @danawhite, If he takes you up on your offer to see UFC Headquarters, I would be honored to host him and his family at our place if they need somewhere to stay. https://t.co/EWx05o0yI0— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 11, 2017
Keaton, I know Tennesseans and people across our country join me in saying thank you for your courage. Bullying isn’t acceptable, especially in our schools. We’re all with you! #StandWithKeaton— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) December 11, 2017
This is heartbreaking. But the response of support for him is a beautiful thing. Add me to your long list of friends Keaton. https://t.co/NKasvdo00u— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) December 10, 2017
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? https://t.co/s1QwCQ3toi— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 10, 2017
buddy next time I make it home to Knox I’m going to walk into that lunchroom with you and watch the bullies say they are sorry to you. you don’t deserve that. keep your head up and continue to be kind…you will always Come out on top. sending a hug. https://t.co/fZn2hbMPKp— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) December 10, 2017
@Lakyn_Jones Hello, Keaton (via your sister)! You may have heard of my parents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (#MLK) and #CorettaScottKing. I try to honor them and their legacies. I’m so sorry about the pain you’re experiencing because of bullying. You matter. I love you.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) December 9, 2017
Meet Keaton Jones a very smart little boy who is being bullied at school. This video is heartbreaking!! I want to bring Keaton to Vegas and hang out at UFC Headquarters. If anyone knows how i can reach the family please let me know. Thank u everyone pic.twitter.com/BR8c4ldDFc— Dana White (@danawhite) December 10, 2017
Hey Keaton! Don’t listen to anyone who says you are not an amazing human being. I hope I get to meet you one day to tell you that in person— Noah Schnapp (@noah_schnapp) December 10, 2017
Hey, #KeatonJones – you have friends here at the UFC, buddy. Today and everyday. #StandWithKeaton @Lakyn_Jones | @DC_MMA @TWooodley @FelderPaul @SugaRashadEvans @KennyFlorian pic.twitter.com/ZxX0cY1bu7— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.” Stay strong Keaton, you’re a very brave young man and a lot of great folks have your back. @Lakyn_Jones if there is anything we can do for Keaton, please let us know. #StandWithKeaton #StopBullying— Nickelback (@Nickelback) December 11, 2017
You’re a warrior Keaton.. sending you love & positivity, you’re destined for great things bud…
@Lakyn_Jones #StandwithKeaton #Stopbullying #Spreadawareness https://t.co/rPxlclGQvc— Mark Ballas (@MarkBallas) December 11, 2017
Keaton, bullies are just people who are scared to face realities in their own lives. Don’t let people bring you down. It’s hard at times but be strong & see it through. You seem like an awesome kid. Stay that way. Stay humble & treat others how you’d want to be #standwithkeaton https://t.co/Q4HprTpGzv— Phillip Phillips (@Phillips) December 11, 2017
This may not be too popular but those kids who are bullying Keaton Jones are also kids. They should be confronted with lessons of love, not hostility. How many of their parents have no clue what their own children are up to at school? I assume most would not be very pleased.— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) December 9, 2017
Keaton-Don’t waste time wondering why a bully would be so mean-They’re sad people who think hurting others will make them feel better because they really don’t like themselves-They’re just jealous because you’re so smart & handsome❤️Your friend-mh https://t.co/SUMw3OoCTm— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) December 10, 2017