Celebrities are rushing to comfort a boy from the Knoxville-area in Tennessee who recently shared his hardships from bullying in a Facebook video that went viral.
Keaton Jones' tearful account of repeated harassment at his school had more than 16 million views on Sunday afternoon, prompting an outpouring of support from big names in the entertainment world.
Actor Chris Evans on Sunday invited Jones and his mother to the premiere of "Avengers: Infinity War" in Los Angeles next year.
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
Actor Mark Hamill on Sunday encouraged Jones by explaining why some people turn to bullying "smart & handsome" people like the Tennessee boy.
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
Talk show host Dr. Phil, meanwhile, offered to visit Jones at school and eat lunch with the child anytime he needed company.
A Facebook video documenting a Tennessee boy's heart-wrenching story of being bullied at school has gone viral, generating more than 16 million views as of Sunday afternoon, according to affiliate KUTV.
In the video, Knoxville area resident Keaton Jones is in tears as he describes the harassment he encounters regularly.
"What's the point of it," Keaton says of bullying in the video. "Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and find a way to be mean to them. It's not okay."
#KeatonJones— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) December 11, 2017
💔Now more than ever the tone has been set that it’s ok and even effective to bully😒This ain’t the old school bullying either: it continues at home & on SOCIAL MEDIA. Children👏🏽are 👏🏽committing 👏🏽suicide👏🏽
They need compassion, inclusion & protection🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/iQTzKCCZkZ
He went on to describe some of the horrific incidents of his bullies, who, he says, poured milk all over him and called him ugly.
"People that are different don't need to be criticized about it. it's not their fault."
Keaton's mother, Kimberly, said it was his son's idea to record the video. In a Facebook post, she pleads with the public to talk to their kids about bullying.
"For the record, Keaton asked to do this AFTER he had he me pick him up AGAIN because he was afraid to go to lunch. My kids are by no stretch perfect, & 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 they're 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 Jones' family isn't alone in the battle against bullying. According to Stop Bullying, nearly 28 percent of U.S. students i grades 6-12 experience bullying.
In his tearful plea, Keaton ends the video with words of encouragement to other children who may be the victims of bullying.
"If you are made fun of, don't let it bother you," he said.
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