- The Washington Times
Monday, December 11, 2017

Tennessee middle school student Keaton Jones rose to internet fame over the weekend after a video of him talking of being repeatedly bullying at school rallied widespread support from actor Chris Evans to rapper Snoop Dogg to first son Donald Trump Jr.

But now Keaton’s mother is facing backlash after internet sleuths dug up old photos of her reportedly posing with a Confederate flag.

The video of a crying Keaton telling his mother, Kimberly Jones, that bullying at school had gotten out of control went mega-viral since Friday. Football players at the University of Tennessee pledged to visit the boy’s school and invited him to a Tennessee Titans game. Chris Evans invited him to a screening of the next “Avengers” movie. UFC President Dana White invited him to visit the UFC Headquarters. The Knoxville Police Department even said it would offer anti-bullying training for his school, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The principal of Horace Maynard Middle School where Keaton is a student said the school was rallying behind the boy and that he would be taken care of from here on out.

But the story took a turn Monday after a photo circulated of Keaton’s mother smiling with the Confederate flag. Another photo showed Keaton holding the U.S. flag and another young boy holding the Confederate flag. A Facebook post purportedly by Ms. Jones criticized “butt hurt Americans” and another declared, “I stand for the flag.”

Others said Keaton shouldn’t be judged for the actions of his mother and that bullying in all forms is unacceptable.

The original video of Keaton was posted on Ms. Jones‘ Facebook page, which has since been deleted or made private.

Ms. Jones spoke Tuesday to CBS News and defended her photos of the Confederate flag, saying she meant no offense.

“The only two photos on my entire planet that I am anywhere near a Confederate flag,” she said, laughing. “It was ironic. It was funny.”

Asked if there was any “racist intent” behind the photos, Ms. Jones responded, “No. No. Absolutely not. I’ve said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn’t racist.”

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.