Multiple Tennessee football players, musicians, celebrities and much of the community have responded to one East Tennessee boy's video. His mom posted the video to Facebook as he described how he's bullied at school. The video has since grown hugely popular throughout social media by using #standwithkeaton.
In the post, his mom wrote that her son, Keaton, asked her to record and post the video. On Monday morning, the privacy settings on the post had been changed so the video could no longer be viewed.
"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."
WBIR is aware of questions about the motives by Keaton's mom on social media. We have requested an interview with her. People online are voicing concerns about some of her previous posts but, in general, the focus of this story remains on doing something positive for a boy who says he was bullied at school and pushing to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else.
Tyler Byrd, a sophomore wide receiver at UT, tweeted Saturday afternoon that he and some of his teammates at Tennessee are "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".
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano tweeted that Keaton has some friends on the football team that would love to spend some time with him. It came as response to a tweet from former Vol basketball player, Skyler McBee, where he said "I would love to see some UT players come go to lunch with him I bet he wouldn’t be bullied then @D1fuzzymuffin17 @smithtrey98 @BroadwayJay2 @CoachJPruitt @JKShuttlesworth @ToddKellyJr."
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
On Sunday, Jarrett Guarantano and former NFL football player and Tennessee Sports Radio host Jayson Swain were able to spend the entire day 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
Parents, let’s have a conversation tonight with OUR children before bed. Convo on the way to/from school. A convo about:
-Being leaders not followers.
-Standing up to bullying.
-Not ignoring bullying.
Parents, it starts with US— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) December 11, 2017
The Tennessee Titan's social-media manager Nate Bain also tweeted Saturday afternoon offering a bodyguard to Keaton:
Mr. Lewan is against bullying and willing to provide his services as a bodyguard.
Country music singer Kelsea Ballerini shared the video saying Keaton does not deserve any of the bullying he may have received.
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker offered Keaton to come see the team play on December 31.
Tennessee's Marcus Tatum tweeted out to say it's time to stop bullying and not accept it. Tatum wants to see this not just be a social media trend and to see it as an anti-bullying movement that continues.
Don't let this stand against bullying just be a social media fling. Time to start teaching kids we are all different in our own perfect ways. Don't let this surge of tweets fool you, it's time to start preventing bullying instead of accepting it till its too late.— Marcus Tatum (@AsapTatum) December 10, 2017
Cole Swindell, another country singer, told Keaton's sister, Lakyn, that she could bring Keaton to his show in Knoxville next month. He said wants to say hi and stand by him.
Chris Evans, the main actor in Captain America, invited Keaton to next year's Avengers premiere in Los Angeles.
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
Pop star Katy Perry also shared the video on her Instagram and said she stands with Keaton and that it breaks her heart to see this. "This broke my 💔today. Please be kind to one another. #standwithkeaton."
Tennessee lawmakers are also standing with Keaton and bringing awareness about bullying in schools.
Thank you #KeatonJones for sharing your story and bringing awareness to the serious problem of bullying in our schools. There is no place for that, and as Tennesseans, we must work together to prevent bullying and harassment of all our students.— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) December 10, 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
Donald Trump Jr. also saw the tweet and says he would be honored to host Keaton and his family if they ever needed a place to stay.
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
Voice winner Chris Blue, from Knoxville, posted a video to Twitter Monday morning stating he stands with Keaton Jones.
School bullying, No, bullying period, is a cancer and a disease to ALL people!! It has to stop. I stand with all those who are ready to put an end to this and I stand with Keaton. You're not alone. #Staystrong. pic.twitter.com/paffvzbhhr— Chris Blue (@Chrisbluelive) December 11, 2017
10News is working to confirm which school Keaton attends. The Knox County School District said he "is currently not enrolled as a Knox County Schools student." The Knox County School District also mentioned Keaton may attend Horace Maynard Middle in Union County. 10News has reached out to Union County Public Schools and have not heard any confirmation if Keaton attends school there.