Donald Trump Jr. and Kellyanne Conway are the latest high-profile figures offering support for a bullied Tennessee middle school student who recounted his experiences in a video that has gone viral.
Keaton Jones of Knoxville had become a hero for bringing attention to school bullying after his mother posted a video she recorded when she picked him up from school. While in his mother’s car, the boy tearfully recounting his experiences:
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?” Keaton said in the video. “What’s the point of it? Why do they find joy in taking innocent people and find a way to be mean to them? It’s not okay.”
Keaton’s mother added that her son asked her to record the video after he requested that she pick him up from school because he was afraid of what would happen to him if he went to lunch.
The video gained such a following on social media that high-profile figures such as Donald Trump Jr. and Kellyanne Conway are going to bat for Keaton.
Trump Jr. called Keaton “incredibly brave” for sharing his story and offered to host him and his family at his house:
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
Conway said Keaton “is a face and a voice for many” and thanked the boy and his mother for bringing attention to the issue of school bullying:
Keaton Jones is a face and a voice for many. We need to lift each other up, and lead by example for children, who learn what they live. If your heart breaks watching and hearing this boy's pain, think twice before causing or adding to another's. Thank you, Keaton & Mom https://t.co/TK3iuOQtul
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) December 11, 2017
Other high-profile figures in Tennessee, including Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), offered support for Keaton, tweeting that “bullying isn’t acceptable” and including the hashtag #StandWithKeaton in his statement:
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
Sports teams have also voiced their support for Keaton, including the Tennessee Titans and the Tennessee Volunteers.
The Tennessee Titans football team was one of the first to get #StandWithKeaton trending on social media, prompting others in the sports world to bring attention to Keaton’s story.
Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. chimed in, telling Keaton that he would be happy to be part of the boy’s “long list of friends”:
This is heartbreaking. But the response of support for him is a beautiful thing. Add me to your long list of friends Keaton. https://t.co/NKasvdo00u
— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) December 10, 2017
Hollywood celebrities also sounded off on Keaton’s video. Actor Chris Evans told the boy to “stay strong” and invited him to go to The Avengers‘ movie premiere in Los Angeles in 2018:
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