Keaton Jones may be a household name at this point, a pseudo celebrity if you will, the latest every day kid to have his five minutes of fame in the spotlight.

But, I’m sure he would’ve preferred it for a different reason.

If you’ve been living under a rock, let me give you an update to who Keaton is.

He’s a Tennessee middle school student whose emotional video went viral after his mother posted it on Facebook about him being bullied in his school cafeteria when students would pour milk on him and put ham down his clothes.

His video attracted the attention from everyone all over including celebrities such as “Captain America” actor Chris Evans who asked him to attend the 2018 premiere of “Avengers: Infinity War” with him.

But even though Keaton may have seemed to be having his five minutes of fame as celebrities told him it does in fact get better, it isn’t always positivity that follows fame.

Shortly after the video gained national attention, backlash began targeted at the family with people posting images of Keaton’s family holding Confederate flags and people saying his mother is racist.

It’s been rumored that his bullying began because he started using the “n-word” and that it was retaliation.

A GoFundMe account was set up by a man who wanted to help the family, and another GoFundMe account was supposedly set up by another person pretending to be Keaton’s mother asking for help so that her family could have a nice Christmas.

It really has snowballed.

Apparently, there have been many fake accounts made on various sites with people adding fuel to the fire trying to paint a negative picture of the Keaton family.

I’m not from Tennessee obviously. I’ve never met the Keaton family. I have no idea anymore what to believe. I’ve seen where Keaton’s sister even is being faced with fake accounts and has been trying to set the record straight online.

His school system even released this statement to media outlets, “To fulfill our mission of educating all children in Union County Public Schools, we must provide an academic environment that is safe, civil and supportive. We do not tolerate bullying and have a policy in place that addresses conduct taking place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop. With any incident of bullying that is reported to our administrators, we follow the process of our policy and immediately investigate the alleged incidents. The privacy of all parties and witnesses to complaints will be respected in accordance with federal and state law.”

School representatives also said Keaton’s situation had already been brought to their attention and had been addressed.

Who knows what really happened?

But, there are some things that I do know.

There are three sides to every story, his, hers and the truth, and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle of his and hers.

Also, two wrongs don’t make a right.

I’ve seen where people have gone as far as saying Keaton deserved the bullying, and that he should have expected retaliation for being racist. Things deserved to be addressed, but I don’t think pouring milk on a student is the way to address it.

I feel like Keaton has been bullied by the entire world more than he ever would have had his video never surfaced with people just being cruel toward a family they don’t even personally know.

I may not condone all of their actions, but then again I don’t even know what their real actions and beliefs are.

I also thought that it was interesting that this came to light just days after Halifax County Middle School students and staff attended the showing of “Wonder” at the World of Sports and had a discussion about bullying.

They reminded students they could always trust them to act when they report bullying situations and encouraged parents and students to continue to report it if they felt like the situation was not properly addressed.

More importantly than anything, they were reminded of precepts such as “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

I choose to be kind.

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at