School district, relatives respond to Keaton Jones bullying video


Keaton Jones, a tyro in Maynardville, Tenn., sparked a inhabitant review about bullying after a video of him went viral over a weekend. After his video went viral, celebs went to amicable media to mount with Keaton

MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn. — A center propagandize student’s video about being bullied in a lunchroom went viral over a weekend, heading to dozens of stories in inhabitant and general media outlets and calls for Union County Public Schools to do some-more to residence bullying. 

“I’m astounded this hasn’t happened before now, given we know several relatives that have left to a propagandize with a same problem, and not usually a center school, yet all a schools,” pronounced Amanda Hensley, a primogenitor with dual students in a propagandize district who pronounced she is a neighbor of Horace Maynard Middle School tyro Keaton Jones.

“I know several people who have left over there and it’s a same aged story,” Hensley said. “Somebody’s going to finish adult removing harm if they don’t get it underneath control.” 

Jones’ video, in that he describes carrying divert poured on him and ham put down his garments during lunch, was posted by his mom Kimberly Jones, on her Facebook page Friday. 

The video prompted an escape of support from celebrities and athletes including Captain America actor Chris Evans; pop star Justin Bieber; singer Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things; Fox News horde Sean Hannity; and rapper Snoop Dogg. 

More: Crying East Tennessee boy’s viral anti-bullying video attracts courtesy of Vols, Titans

More: Celebrities mount with Keaton Jones, child who spoke opposite bullying

The story was documented in a New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Daily Mail of London and other outlets, and hundreds of people took to amicable media to demonstrate their support for Jones.

But a heartwarming story of a bullied East Tennessee child who perceived support from around a universe became some-more difficult Monday due to feign amicable media accounts and accusations of injustice opposite a boy’s mother.

The video racked adult some-more than 18 million views until Kimberly Jones finished her Facebook criticism private early Monday amid heated inspection and ascent backlash.


The video has left viral and celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Cardi B, Millie Bobby Brown, and Jaimi Alexander have reposted it assenting Jones’ for his honesty.

“To perform a goal of educating all children in Union County Public Schools, we contingency yield an educational sourroundings that is safe, polite and supportive,” pronounced Director of Schools Jimmy Carter in a statement.

“We do not and will not endure bullying and have a routine in place that addresses control holding place on propagandize grounds, during any school-sponsored activity, on school-supported travel or during any central propagandize train stop. 

“With any occurrence of bullying that is reported to a administrators, we follow a routine of a routine and immediately examine a purported incidents. The remoteness of all parties and witnesses to complaints will be reputable in suitability with state and sovereign law.” 

Horace Maynard Middle School Principal Greg Clay said he wasn’t wakeful of Jones being regularly bullied and that a occurrence described in a video had been resolved weeks ago.

“It’s not as prevalent as a video would have we believe,” Clay said. “I can’t tell we what was done, yet we can tell we movement was taken with a children.” 

‘Why do they bully?’

Kimberly Jones pronounced in her strange Facebook post that she picked her son adult from propagandize early Friday given he was fearful to go to lunch.

By Monday she had finished her Facebook page private and did not respond to a summary seeking comment. 

“My kids are by no widen perfect, and during home, he’s as all child as they come, yet by all accounts he’s good during school,” Kimberly Jones wrote in her Facebook post. “Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of cave tell me (their) kids were usually good to him to get him to disaster with people. We all know how it feels to wish to belong, yet usually a name few know how it unequivocally feels not to go anywhere.”

In a video, Keaton, great in a newcomer seat, says, “Just out of curiosity, since do they bully? What’s a indicate of it? Why do we find fun in holding trusting people and anticipating a approach to be meant to ‘em? It’s not OK.”

Keaton pronounced kids during propagandize make fun of his nose, call him nauseous and tell him he has no friends. 

Jones, in another amicable media post on Oct. 18, described one such incident. At a birthday party, she wrote, another child pronounced he knew Keaton by his scars, one that “goes all a approach opposite his face.”

Jones wrote that her son was innate with a tumor. 

“It’s not OK!” Keaton cried in his video. “People that are opposite don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault. But if we are finished fun of, don’t let it worry you. They suck, we guess. Hard. But it will substantially get improved one day.”

As of Sunday evening, Keaton’s video had been common some-more than 369,000 times on Facebook. His summary resonated with an heterogeneous brew of celebrities, who responded by condemning bullying, pity their possess practice and lauding Keaton for his courage.

Chris Evans invited Keaton and his mom to a premiere of a new Avengers movie in Los Angeles subsequent year.

“Stay strong, Keaton,” Evans tweeted. “Don’t let them make we spin cold. we guarantee it gets better. While those punks during your propagandize are determining what kind of people they wish to be in this world, how would we and your mom like to come to a Avengers premiere in LA subsequent year?”

In a Saturday afternoon Facebook post, Jones responded to a escape of support for her son.

“Friends, impressed is a understatement of a universe right now. we adore any of we for what we are doing,” she said, adding that she could not review or respond to all of a messages and invitations to join groups that had flooded her mailbox given a viral video.

“I’m shamed by a voice my child has been given, yet he’s still usually a small boy, and he’s a small child who desperately wants acceptance, that we have to try to find a approach to navigate him by a disproportion in loyal acceptance and attention. we know God has His palm in this and we trust that a right things will occur in a right time. In a meantime, bear with us.” 


A lady who identified herself as Keaton Jones’ sister on Twitter, Lakyn Jones, also did not respond to a ask for criticism Monday, yet she was tweeting responses to allegations finished on amicable media that her mom had posted extremist sentiments in a past.

“My mom is not in anyway [sic] a racist. we can assure we of that. She is usually a clever southern woman,” Lakyn Jones tweeted. 

My mom is not in anyway a racist. we can assure we of that. She is usually a clever southern woman

— Lakyn ???? (@Lakyn_Jones) December 11, 2017

Confederate flags

The debate centers in partial on screenshots of purported Facebook posts by Kimberly Jones that Internet users pronounced they prisoner before she finished her criticism private.

The posts rail opposite Americans who are seen as protesting a American dwindle and enclose cinema arrangement family members holding a Confederate flag. Keaton appears in one photo, holding an American dwindle and station subsequent to another child who is holding a Confederate flag.

Some called Kimberly Jones’ purported post racist and pronounced they no longer had sympathy for Keaton. Others pronounced a mother’s purported views did not tone their opinions of a son and his anti-bullying message.

The USA TODAY NETWORK — Tennessee has been incompetent to strech Keaton or Kimberly Jones for comment. A hit during a doorway of a Union County home owned by a “Kimberly Jones,” according to state skill records, went unanswered Monday afternoon. No vehicles were in a driveway. 

After screenshots of a Confederate dwindle post surfaced, @Lakyn_Jones tweeted, “My family will continue to support any other. You all can hatred and twitter all we wish yet a faith cant (sic) be shaken.”

Others try to income in

As celebrities common Keaton’s video over a weekend, several Instagram accounts were created, purporting to be possibly Keaton or his mother.

The bio of one such account, @_taylormadeq, pronounced it was run by Keaton’s mom and supposing a couple to a PayPal criticism where donations could be made. The form design seemed to be a print of a Jones family.

The private, accurate account’s form design and bio were private usually before 5 p.m. Monday. Then, usually before 7 p.m., a form design was changed, a account’s arrangement name was set to “tre,” and a bio read, “Selling accurate pages dm (direct message) me to buy!”

A separate, unverified and open Instagram account, @kimberlyjones_38, was soliciting donations Monday by both PayPal and a now-defunct GoFundMe debate patrician “Give My Son a Good Christmas.” 

Joe Schilling, a veteran churned martial artist, posted a video on Instagram, apparently deliberating a review he had with a user of that account.

Schilling pronounced in his video that he “felt flattering moved” by Keaton’s message, so he reached out to what he suspicion was a mom’s criticism and offering to entice Keaton to an eventuality in Los Angeles.

“She usually wants money. She usually wants me to share her GoFundMe account,” Schilling said, adding that he asked why. “She said, ‘Christmas is entrance and I’m a singular mom and blah blah blah, income is tight,’ whatever. … Make your possess visualisation on that.”

In a second post, Schilling common a screenshot of messages he exchanged with a @kimberlyjones_38 account. The user of that criticism asked him, “What happened to us whites adhering together and assisting one of (sic) another opposite a predator?” In his caption, Schilling concurred that a criticism competence be fake.

The @kimberlyjones_38 account apparently had been deleted as of 6:10 p.m. Lakyn Jones tweeted that that wasn’t her mother’s account.

A GoFundMe debate patrician “Stand adult for Keaton,” started by a male named Joseph Lam, lifted some-more than $57,000 before it stopped holding donations Monday.

GoFundMe is operative with Lam “to safeguard a supports go to Keaton,” a orator for GoFundMe pronounced in an email.

“When a foreigner starts a debate and does not have a approach tie to a particular they’re lifting income for, supports are collected by a remuneration processors, held, and afterwards usually expelled usually to a chairman named as a beneficiary. All supports are on reason until we’ve perceived additional information from a customer of a campaign,” a orator continued.

“There was a apart GoFundMe active for a brief duration of time, yet we private it from a height before it lifted any income given of rascal concerns. The temperament of a debate organizer did not compare anyone compared with a family.”

School formulation to residence bullying with students

The propagandize was planning on holding an public Monday to residence bullying with students, Clay said. He pronounced a media would not be authorised to attend.

An anti-bullying speak has also been designed for Jan “even before this came out,” Clay said.

He pronounced Horace Maynard Middle School is no opposite than many other schools where bullying is a problem. 

“We’re carrying a good propagandize year,” Clay said. “I’m contemptible it’s like this. We all sympathize with Keaton and we’re doing all we can to make certain it never happens again. Everybody saw a video and it was horrible. We don’t wish anyone to feel like that. Keaton’s a good kid. We’ll take caring of him.”  


Amanda Hensley, a neighbor of Keaton Jones, talks about bullying problems in Union County Schools.
Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel

Other relatives import in on bullying 

Some relatives in a district also pronounced that while bullying is a problem from time to time, it’s no worse than anywhere else. 

LeAnn Ray, whose son is in seventh class during Horace Maynard, pronounced he faced a bullying problem final year. She reported it to a propagandize apparatus officer, who “handled it flattering well” and after that “the child left him alone,” pronounced Ray. 

Becky Vandergriff, whose daughter is also a seventh-grader during a school, pronounced she hasn’t gifted bullying yet that she was dissapoint about what happened to Jones.

“She’s advantageous she’s never had that happen,” pronounced Vandergriff. “She doesn’t consider it’s right. we tell my children to provide everybody with respect. we don’t caring what a conditions is and if we see someone bullying another child, take adult for that kid.”

Hensley, Jones’ neighbor, pronounced her daughter, now a youth in high school, also gifted bullying when she was during Horace Maynard a few years ago.

She pronounced her daughter was picked on and called names for being overweight.

“They like to keep it hid over there,” Hensley said. “Unless something like this comes out, they don’t tell nothing.”

Hensley pronounced she review about Keaton Jones on amicable media and felt bad, yet she was not surprised. 

“Now I’m usually wondering if anything is going to be done,” she said. “I’m not astounded during all. There are fights each day, yet they usually don’t care. You usually hear about things like that when it gets full blown.” 

Contributing: Brittany Crocker, Knoxville News Sentinel. Follow Rachel Ohm and Travis Dorman on Twitter: @rachel_ohm and @travdorman





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