Steph Barnes
December 12, 2017 9:39 am

By now, you may have seen the heartbreaking video of Tennessee middle-schooler Keaton Jones sobbing as he shares his story about being bullied. After the video went viral, many people, including celebrities like Chris Evans, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber, showed their support with the hashtag #StandWithKeaton. But a story of hope soon became tainted when rumors surfaced that Keaton’s mother, Kimberly Jones, is racist.

Social media detectives uncovered photos of Jones and her children posing with Confederate flags on Jones’ Facebook page with a caption that appeared to be a passionate defense of the flag. There were also murmurs that Keaton may have called classmates the n-word at school, though the source of the information is unknown, and Keaton’s older sister was quick to dispute the claim.

To add to the confusion, someone created a fake social media account for Kimberly Jones and populated it with racist posts. The person even had an alleged Instagram conversation with MMA fighter Joe Schilling, during which the impostor made additional racist comments and asked Schilling to share a GoFundMe page.

And now Jones is hoping to set the record straight. While speaking to CBS News she said,

She also appeared on Good Morning America this morning, December 12th, saying, “anyone who knows me…knows I’m not racist.”

Jones also argued that while the photos of the Confederate flag on her Facebook page are real, Confederate flags are common where she lives in Tennessee and don’t necessarily equate to racist beliefs. “It was meant to be ironic and funny and extreme. I am genuinely, truly sorry. If I could take it back, I would,” Jones told ABC News about the circulating Confederate flag photos.

While this situation is definitely confusing, and we can’t fully confirm or deny where Jones stands on these issues, we do know that bullying prevention is critical. If you’re interested in helping that cause, you can go to StopBullying.gov to learn more.

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