Kids at school can be beyond cruel. From children getting picked on by classmates because they’re different, to being called names in person or online, to getting flat-out physically assaulted by peers because they don’t conform to their version of “cool” or “normal,” it’s no wonder some kids dread going to school. Although awareness surrounding bullying has gained momentum in recent years, it’s clear we still have a long way to go. Case in point: This boy who was bullied at school created a heartbreaking video, and it went viral overnight.
On Friday, Kimberly Jones posted a video of her visibly upset son, Keaton, after she picked him up from school because he was afraid to go to lunch. The emotional video shows his desperate plea for the abuse to end. “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,” the East Tennessee mom wrote on Facebook, reports Knoxnews.com. “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.”
Kimberly posted Keaton’s video just after 12:30 p.m. on Friday. By the Saturday evening, it had been viewed a whopping 10 million times. And it isn’t difficult to see why. “Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the joy in it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them? It’s not okay,” Keaton, a middle-schooler, says to the camera, before his voice cracks and the tears begin. He goes on to explain that kids at school make fun of his nose, call him ugly and tell him he has no friends — in addition to pouring milk on him and putting ham down his clothing. (Oh, my heart. I just want to reach through the screen and wrap this sweet boy in bear hug.) Keaton continues: