Celebrities including Chris Evans, Snoop Dogg and Mark Hamill have offered support to a young boy being bullied at school.
Keaton Jones’ mother recorded a video of him crying after he asked her to pick him up because he was scared to go to lunch, because he is being picked on.
Keaton, from Tennessee, said: “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 ’em? It’s not OK.
“They make fun of my nose, they call me ugly, they say I have no friends… (they) pour milk on me and put ham down my clothes, threw bread at me,” he said.
“I don’t like that they do it to me and I for sure don’t like that they do it to other people, ’cause it’s not OK,” Jones said, tears on his face.
“People that are different don’t need to be criticised about it – it’s not their fault. But if you are made fun of, just don’t let it bother you – just stay strong,” he said, adding: “It’ll probably get better one day.”
But his school’s principal Greg Clay has told The Tennessean that he was not aware the sixth grader was being regularly bullied, and said the incident he was referring to had been resolved weeks ago.
He added: “It’s not as rampant as the video would have you believe. I can’t tell you what was done, but I can tell you action was taken with the children.”
The video has been shared more than 440,000 times since it was posted, and the millions of views include Hollywood stars who have rallied around him.
Captain America actor Chris Evans invited him to the next Avengers premiere and said: “Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better.”
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
Snoop Dogg posted: “Say lil Man U gotta friend in me for life hit me on dm so we can chop it up love is the only way to beat hate.”
And Mark Hamill, best known for playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, wrote: “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.”
Keaton’s sister Lakyn said the family has been inundated with messages and she is grateful for the support.
Seeing my brother’s face all over the internet and people giving him support is the most amazing feeling in the world ❤️
— Lakyn 🎄 (@Lakyn_Jones) December 9, 2017
She wrote: “My family will continue to support each other. You all can hate and tweet all you want but our faith cant be shaken.”
The response has been overwhelming for Keaton’s mother Kimberly, and the post is no longer visible on her page.
“Friends, overwhelmed is the understatement of the world right now. I love each of you for what you are doing, but there is literally no way I can respond or even read all of the messages,” she wrote in a follow-up post.