2017 was probably the year in which online and real-world bullying was talked about most. While the world was shocked by the death of bullying victims such as Amanda Todd, Sam Abel, and Mallory Grossman, there were many heart-tugging videos of bullied kids coming out in the open to talk about their plight.
Just when we thought we had seen enough of the bullying epidemic this year, the plea of a kid named Keaton Jones came as yet another poignant reminder of how bullying can impact kids.
Keaton Jones, the boy from Tennessee, USA is seen tearfully and desperately telling her mom on camera, “Just out of curiosity, 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? It’s not okay. They make fun of my nose, they call me ugly, they say I have no friends. They poured milk on me, put ham down my clothes, threw bread at me… I think they do it (only) to me, I’m not sure why they don’t do it to other people, cause it’s not OK! People that are different don’t need to be criticized for it. It’s not their fault. But if you are made fun of, just don’t – don’t let it bother you… it will probably get better one day.”
In a dramatic turn of events, Keaton’s mom has been accused of being a white supremacist, after people found out pictures of her purportedly reflecting her ideology. While this event has got mixed reactions from people; Keaton’s mom has also been accused of using the tear-jerking video of the kid to gain public sympathy and raise funds through an unclaimed website.
As Hannah Jane Parkinson, a columnist at the Guardian rightly said, this incident is a classic case of trial by media, in which Keaton has been called contrasting things from a ‘bullying victim, to a ‘bully’ and ‘racist’.
However, Keaton’s school has confirmed that he is indeed a victim of bullying, and ‘action has been taken against the bullies.’
We are sure this video of Keaton will spark a discussion on what the families of bullies and the bullied should do.