School Principal Responds to Viral Bullying Video

Bowen Xiao
By Bowen Xiao
December 11, 2017US News
School Principal Responds to Viral Bullying Video
Horace Maynard Middle School. (Screenshot Via Google Maps)

A middle school boy gained national media attention after his mother posted a video of him in tears from being bullied—now the principal is speaking out.

The video shared originally on Facebook by the boy’s mother last Saturday on Dec. 9, went viral. Footage shows Keaton Jones—a sixth grader at Horace Maynard Middle School—describe his torment, including how he had milk poured on him and ham put down his clothes during lunch.

The boy’s mother, Kimberly Jones, would never have guessed just how much attention the video would get over the weekend as celebrities, athletes and the general public condemned bullying with the hashtag #StandWithKeaton.

Days later the principal of the school, Greg Clay, painted a different picture of the incident.

“It’s not as rampant as the video would have you believe,” Clay told The Knoxville News Sentinel. “I can’t tell you what was done, but I can tell you action was taken with the children.”

Clay told the newspaper that he did not know that Jones was being constantly bullied, adding that the incident the boy described in the video was already resolved just weeks ago.

But the mother’s original Facebook post paints a different picture to the principal.

Kimberly wrote that she had to pick up her son from school earlier on Friday because he was too scared to go to lunch.

The middle school is planning to hold an assembly today on Monday, Dec. 11 in order to address the topic of bullying. Clay said that another anti-bullying talk has also been planned for January next year.

He told the Knoxville News Sentinel that it was planned “even before this came out,” in reference to the boy’s video.

The principal said that his school is not the only one where bullying is a problem.

“We’re having a good school year,” Clay told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “I’m sorry it’s like this. We all sympathize with Keaton and we’re doing everything we can to make sure it never happens again. Everybody saw the video and it was horrible. We don’t want anyone to feel like that. Keaton’s a good kid. We’ll take care of him.”

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