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Celebrities offer overwhelming support to bullied student after heartbreaking video goes viral

December 12, 2017 0 Comments

Celebrities from all walks of life are rallying in support of Keaton Jones, an 11-year-old boy from Knoxville, Tennessee after his heartbreaking video, in which he recounts being bullied at school, went viral. In the video, uploaded by Keaton’s mother Kimberly Jones on her Facebook page, the tearful boy described how his classmates tormented him at school by pouring milk on him, putting ham down his clothes, calling him “ugly”, making fun of his nose and telling him he had no friends.

The video was recorded by Kimberly at Keaton’s request after she picked him up from school “because he was afraid to go to lunch.” In a message appended to her video, Kimberly mentioned that although her children were “by no stretch perfect”, Keaton was a good boy at school. Keaton also exhorted that there was no need to criticize people simply because they were “different”. He urged others like him to be strong if they were made fun of.

Celebrities support Keaton

Keaton’s emotional video, which has been viewed millions of times, led to an overwhelming show of support from Hollywood and other celebrities. Actor Chris Evans urged Keaton to “stay strong” and invited him and Kimberly to the premiere of his new movie “Avengers: Infinity War” in Los Angeles in 2018. “You got a friend in me Lil bro,” tweeted Justin Bieber, who also endorsed Keaton’s message to millions of his followers on Instagram. In their messages to Keaton, Evans and other celebrities disclosed that they were also bullied as children/adolescents.

Joining the growing list of celebrities standing up for Keaton were Demi Lovato, Eva Longoria, Mark Ruffalo, Katy Perry and many others. The outpouring of support also spread to Instagram, with the platform being inundated with thousands of posts bearing the hashtag #standwithkeaton.

“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?”

Keaton’s question may seem an innocuous one coming from a tormented child, but it is actually very significant. While a growing body of research has made significant progress in understanding the complexities of bullying behavior, several questions remain unanswered. Prevention programs tested in schools have met with less-than-encouraging results, while others have failed to make an impact. More research is also needed to understand how content on media–mainstream and social–impacts public perceptions regarding bullying.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 20.8 percent of students aged between 12 and 18 years were victims of bullying in the 2014-15 school year. Rates vary across studies, with some estimates showing a higher prevalence of bullying, including physical, verbal, social or electronic (cyber) bullying. Although any child can become a victim of bullying, certain categories of children – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, children with disabilities, and those who are socially isolated – are at a greater risk.

Bullying can lead to anxiety and other psychological distress

Children who are victims of bullying are at an increased risk for depression, anxiety, disturbed sleep patterns and disruptions in school. Past research provides evidence that children/adolescents who were targets of frequent bullying may develop anxiety, depressive disorders and internalizing symptoms. A previous study found that victims of childhood bullying had a higher risk of anxiety disorders in adulthood, while victims and bullies had a higher risk of panic disorder and depression as adults.

Further references to past research indicated that a majority of bullied children did not talk about their suffering. Appearance, body shape and ethnicity were the most common reasons reported by students for being bullied.

Treatment for anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders affect 25.1 percent adolescents aged 13 to 18 years. Although anxiety is treatable, 80 percent children with a diagnosable anxiety disorder do not have access to treatment. Children with untreated anxiety disorders struggle to perform well at school, lack social experiences and may engage in substance abuse

If you know an adolescent struggling with anxiety disorders, White River Academy can help. Located in Delta, Utah, it is the leading boarding school for troubled teens, and can help in addressing anxiety disorder in teens. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives to know more about the best teen anxiety disorder treatment for boys aged between 12 and 17 years.

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We would like to thank all the wonderful staff at WRA for the great parent weekend. We enjoyed it and felt that we learned valuable insights on Positive Peer Culture and the values we must have and the importance of family commitment to each other...

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