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Vols And Celebrities Help East Tennessee Boy Stand Against Bullying

Keaton Jones is sweeping the nation by storm with a clear message: Bullying cannot be tolerated.

If you don’t already know, Keaton Jones is a student at Horace Maynard Middle School in Maynardville, Tenn. His mother, Kimberly Johnson, posted a video of him clearly distraught while being picked up from school Friday because he was “too afraid and upset to go to lunch” due to bullies. If you haven’t seen the video, please watch it. It’s emotional and heartbreaking, but Keaton is ready to take a stand.

Since the video’s release, millions across the nation have chimed in via social media to offer support.

A Go-Fund Me for Keaton’s future education has already raised over $29,000 in just two days and it continues to grow.

Celebrities of all kinds have also offered their support and some have even offered to give Keaton opportunities of a lifetime, including a personal invitation from actor Chris Evans to attend the Avengers: Infinity War premiere next year in Los Angeles and many more.

UFC CEO Dana White invited Keaton to hang out at the UFC headquarters in Las Vegas.

The Walking Dead actor Tom Payne invited Keaton to attend the Walker Stalker Convention in Nashville.

Los Angeles Dodgers reporter Alanna Rizzo invited Keaton to attend a Dodgers game.

Several athletes have also offered their support, including Titans tight end Delanie Walker, as well as current and former Vols.

Jayson Swain and Jarrett Guarantano took it a step further Sunday by taking Keaton to the mall to shop and just hang out as friends.

Guarantano, along with several other Vols such as Tyler Byrd, Trey Smith, John Kelly and Carlin Fils-aime are going to visit Keaton’s school to show him some love and be there for him.

According to Stop Bullying, 49% of children in grades 4-12 will experience bullying of some degree. Some of the serious effects are:

  • Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Health complaints
  • Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school
  • Increased risk of suicide

As diehard fans of a university named for the volunteer spirit, it’s time we all lend a hand and support Keaton and those who are affected by this serious issue. Keaton is making his voice heard and is taking a stand against bullying. It’s time we do the same.

Please take the time to visit Keaton’s Go-Fund Me page and as always…Go Vols!

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